Monthly Archives: July 2013

Big Sister Erica Warner Shares Her Impact Story

Guest Blog Post by, Erica Warner

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Big Sister Erica and Little Sister Justice

I had been involved with Big Sister for many years as a Diversity Council member before becoming a Big Sister. In 2012, I was finished with school and I knew I would be staying in Boston for several years. I felt like I was in a place in my life where I could make the commitment. I ultimately made the decision to become a Big Sister because I wanted to be able to contribute to the healthy development of a girl.

I met my Little Sister Justice through Big Sister’s Big for a Day program and we clicked instantly. I knew we were a perfect match. I thought she was smart and energetic. Her favorite subject in school was science, and as a scientist by profession, she reminded me of myself at her age.

Although I made the commitment to become a Big Sister, I was scared. I worried I wouldn’t be able to relate to Justice or that she wouldn’t like the activities I planned. What I learned is that she just wants to spend time with me. We both enjoy the time we have together, whatever it is we are doing. It’s about being present.

Being a Big Sister has helped me be more carefree, a better communicator, and improved my problem solving skills. Justice is 10 and she loves to run, jump, and play. Every time we meet she wants to play tag. She allows me to play in a way that wouldn’t happen otherwise in my life. Sometimes she asks me difficult questions, and with the help of my Match Support Specialist at Big Sister, I always try to answer them truthfully and in a way that she will understand.

All women should become Big Sisters because you get back as much or more than you give. There are so many girls waiting for you.

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Are you inspired by Big Sister Julie and Little Sister Selena’s story? You too can make an impact on a girl! There are more than 500 girls waiting to be matched with a Big Sister. Become a Big Sister today.

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Big Sister Angie Vargas Shares Her Impact Story

Guest Blog Post by Angie Vargas

Big Sister Angie and Little Sister Paola when they were first matched in 2007.

Big Sister Angie and Little Sister Paola when they were first matched in 2007.

In 2006 while in law school, I was at a volunteer fair where I met a staff member from Big Sister who explained the process and the need for Big Sisters in Boston. I thought, ‘I think I want to go for this’.  I took an application, went home to think more about it, and then applied. The process of becoming a Big Sister was exciting and at the same time, quite scary but Big Sister had a thorough process to make sure I felt ready.

When I first met my Little Sister Paola, I thought she was sweet and just as nervous as I was. She was only 9 when we were matched; and now she will be 17 in two months. What surprised me most when we first started meeting weekly was how much fun it could be. It is not just a onetime volunteer opportunity; it is an opportunity to have an amazing relationship with a wonderful girl.

Having a Little Sister has made me more empathetic and more open to appreciating people for who they are regardless of their circumstances. We are like true sisters.  We trust each other and our relationship has evolved as she has gotten older.

Little Sister Paola and Big Sister Angie in 2013 visiting the Big Sister office.

Little Sister Paola and Big Sister Angie in 2013 visiting the Big Sister office.

Our absolute favorite activity is the annual Big Sister Appreciation Breakfast, where Big and Little Sisters are recognized for their strong, lasting relationships. We look forward to it each and every year as a way of appreciating each other.

All women should become Big Sisters because it is an experience of a lifetime. You aren’t just giving back, you’re also getting something back too. Ideally, one day Big Sister would have women waiting hoping to get matched with Little Sisters!

Are you inspired by Big Sister Angie and Little Sister Paola’s story? Thinking about becoming a Big Sister yourself? Then stop by our free event at Sara Campbell’s store in the South End on Wednesday, July 24 from 6pm-8pm to learn more about becoming a Big Sister while enjoying complimentary appetizers, wine, and a discount on all items in the store! Register here.

Or sign-up to become a Big Sister today!

Big Sister Julie Wilson Shares Her Impact Story

Guest Blog Post by Julie WilsonSelena & Julie fundraiser

Growing up, I was blessed with a supportive home life and because of this I wanted to give back. I heard of Big Sister and its reputation for their positive work in the community and passion for mentoring. I have always been a big believer in the power of mentoring and had several mentors in my life that significantly influenced my choices. The process to become a Big Sister was very smooth and thorough. Big Sister staff members helped me think through who would be the right match for me.

The training was incredibly helpful and answered all my questions and potential concerns about becoming a Big Sister.

When I first started meeting weekly with my Little Sister Selena, she was ten years old. I quickly learned how much we had in common and was surprised at how much fun we could have together.

Selena and I have now been matched for six years and she will be sixteen this year. She was instrumental in helping me launch my non-profit by giving me the courage to leave a full-time job and enter the scary world of start-up! Selena encourages me to be the best person I can be. She is an old soul with a big heart and I am incredibly blessed to be matched with her.

Selena & JulieBy becoming a Big Sister you will gain a perspective and world view that could be life changing. You have the opportunity to make a significant difference in the life of a young girl which will impact the choices she makes as an adult.

Never underestimate the power of showing up consistently for someone you love.

Are you inspired by Big Sister Julie and Little Sister Selena’s story? You too can make an impact on a girl! There are more than 500 girls waiting to be matched with a Big Sister. Become a Big Sister today.

Big Sister Cristiana Shares Her Impact Story

Guest Blog Post by, Big Sister Cristiana Amara

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I want to share my story to encourage other women to consider becoming a Big Sister this summer. I heard about Big Sister through an information session held at work, and a friend suggested that I get involved.  I had always wanted to be a Big Sister but never followed through with it. I decided to go for it!

After completing the application and interview process with Big Sister, I received a call from our Big Sister Match Support Specialist to tell me she had a match for me! “Her name is Olivia, she’s in third grade, and she has brown curly hair but wishes she was blonde. She wants a dog and she has three brothers, so it sounds like she needs a little girl time.” I couldn’t wait to meet her! I was nervous and excited!

Olivia and I met at the school to go over the expectations with our Big Sister Match Support Specialist. Olivia was a little shy when she first came out of her classroom. We talked about some of the things we would like to do together including crafts and games. Because Olivia has family in Europe, I planned themed days like French Day, when Olivia read me stories in French, told me about places she had been, and colored the Eiffel Tower. Some days we just played UNO or Go Fish and would find ourselves laughing the entire time.  

Since then we have gotten to know each other and have realized how much we have in common. We are both involved in so many activities; spend summers in Europe visiting our grandparents; and speak foreign languages. When school ended for the summer, we transitioned into the School-Based Plus Program, which allows us to spend time together outside of school at places like the Franklin Park Zoo and the Aquarium.

Being Olivia’s Big Sister has been a rewarding experience. It’s amazing how good it feels when she says she wants me to stay longer or that she always has fun with me! I’ll never forget the day her mom came to meet me at school. I headed toward her with my arm extended to shake her hand and instead she hugged me, saying “Thank you for being so good to my daughter. She loves spending time with you.” I was truly touched.

At the end of the day, Little Sisters are just looking for someone to talk to, to confide in, and support them along this road we call life, and you can be that person!

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You too can make an impact on a girl! There are more than 500 girls waiting to be matched with a Big Sister. Become a Big Sister today.