In February, when most Bostonians are still bundling up and braving the cold, Match Support Specialists are thinking ahead to summer and planning for what our Little Sisters will do with that time off from school. This year, Big Sister Association partnered with several fantastic organizations to offer summertime opportunities for the girls we serve. Little Sisters attended traditional sleep away camps in Maine and New Hampshire, including stays at The Summer Camp, Camp Brantwood, Main Idea, and White Mountain Camp. They also participated in service-oriented internships through Boston Center for Youth and Families SUPERTeens and The Food Project, as well as attending the Dana Hall Girls Leadership Program. Big Sister Association is committed to helping Little Sisters engage with programs that keep them stimulated personally and intellectually over the summer, a time when many feel bored, experience a loss of learning and engage in risky behaviors. By doing something new and different for the summer, Little Sisters also become more independent, more confident, and more aware of the opportunities that exist for them. This has certainly been the case for eighteen-year old Little Sister Roseanne, who participated in Grand Circle Foundation’s Next Generation Leaders Program and who has been matched with her Big Sister Joy since 2005.
Big Sister was invited to nominate Little Sisters who were college-bound high school seniors for the Next Generation Leaders Program. Roseanne, then a student at Boston Latin School and who had always demonstrated intellectual curiosity and determination at school, in extra-curricular activities, and in her match was nominated. Roseanne worked diligently on her application, including essay questions about her strengths and areas of growth in regards to leadership. After an in-person interview with several people at Grand Circle Foundation, Roseanne was chosen to participate in the program, where she completed a seven week paid internship in Boston and participated in a ten day, all expenses paid, leadership and service trip to Kenya and Tanzania. As someone who is more of an introvert, the intense group experience that focused on teamwork and leadership was a challenge for Roseanne—one that taught her a lot about herself and others.
Roseanne is interested in information technology and at her internship, she was able to learn valuable and relevant skills using programs like Excel, Hyperion, and Tableau, and was exposed to a variety of work opportunities in her field of interest. However, nothing compared to the adventures she had in Kenya and Tanzania. She was able to experience the culture first-hand, eating native foods, participating in ritual dances, and playing with kids in a local orphanage. This fall, Roseanne started her freshman year at Harvard University, an experience that will certainly be worlds apart from her time in Africa. However, this latest adventure is something she will carry with her. Her thoughts on the experience, “I’m resolved to talk to more people from different backgrounds and it’s given me another reason to do well in college – so I can secure a well-paying job and travel.”
Check out the video of Roseanne’s travels here!