The Akesh Experience

a memorial fund at bbbschi

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Chicago has been chosen as the beneficiary of gifts given in special memory of Akesh Yelavarthy who passed away in April 2020 at the age of 30. Akesh was from Chicago and graduated from Lincoln Park High School. He and his friends spent their formative years exploring and experiencing all that the city and surrounding area had to offer. These experiences were critical to Akesh’s upbringing and influenced him as a son, a friend and young professional.

Akesh’s network of family and friends chose BBBSChi as a partner to honor his memory.

Akesh had a vibrant personality. He was the guy who got the gang together, who encouraged his friends to get out and soak up everything the world had to offer. Thanks to him, his friends traveled together, saw live music, went to sporting events, the list goes on. Akesh made sure they spent time together doing things they loved.

The Akesh Experience was created in partnership with BBBSChi to help keep Akesh’s spirit alive. The fund is designed to enhance each unique match relationship, while providing exclusive experiences that embody Akesh for Littles and their Bigs.

Celebrate Akesh’s Legacy and Create a Memory

Akesh’s family and friends look forward to celebrating his life and legacy when the time is right. We hope to host an annual event in his honor to come together, celebrate, and even introduce you to a few of the matches who have benefited from The Akesh Experience. Check back for more details.

In the meantime, if you would like to ensure that Akesh’s passion, love for life, and profound concern for others thrives across Chicago, you can make a gift toward The Akesh Experience here.

We had a blast last night at Morton’s Steakhouse! Josh had never had such a fine, gluttonous meal like that in his life. It’s neat how food brings us all together. The fine dining experience also shows Josh that with hard work through school and education he can pursue a financially rewarding job and continue to experience a wide variety of restaurants, food and cultures himself.



– Big Brother Angleo

Do you have access to experiences in Chicago that Akesh would have loved (tickets to sporting events, concerts, etc.)? You can donate them, as well. Please contact Kate Rhodes and she will help coordinate your gift-in-kind with a current match in the program.

Interested in volunteering? If you would like to learn more about becoming a Big in Chicago or in your local city, you can learn more about BBBS volunteer opportunities here.

Ready to Apply?

We know being a Big is hard work, and not easy on a budget! Bigs can receive up to $500 from The Akesh Experience for a special match outing or combined package of activities.

Bigs Apply Here

The Akesh Experience also supports unique experiences that enhance programming and match relationships. Program Coordinators can request funding ranging from $500 – $1000 per program per fiscal year.

Program Coordinators Apply Here


The Akesh Experience Activity Ideas


Dinner at Morton’s Snowboarding Lessons
Slam Poetry Events Concert Tickets
Sporting Events Song Writing Workshops
Improv Classes Private DJ Lessons


Mason and I cannot thank you enough for such an incredible experience at iFly in Lincoln Park. We made it a point to really embody Akesh’s spirit and wanted to share our awesome time with you. My favorite moment of the day was on the ride home when Mason uttered, “That was awesome,” it was simple and encapsulated the true emotion of the moment. We are grateful for the experience, and are already planning to go back!


– Big Brother Chris

Would you like to fund a special match outing at BBBSChi in memory of Akesh Yelavarthy? You can make a gift towards the Akesh experience here.