I came to Big Brothers Big Sisters because I wanted to stay connected to my community as I worked on my university degrees in sociology and family studies. I felt that volunteering as a Big Sister would not only allow me to give back to my community by helping a youth but also fit in with my chosen field of studies. Tammy was an older youth and had been on the wait list for two years before we were introduced to each other. I felt that I could really help her and wasn’t afraid to get involved. Tammy was 15 when we met.
We have been matched for over a year now. This experience has been so much more than I expected. Over the past year, I have had the privilege of getting to know Tammy and her family. We have really enjoyed the agency activities that Big Brothers Big Sisters organizes for us. These activities have provided us with the opportunity to try new things that we otherwise would not be able to do like; horseback riding and fishing. We were so excited when we found out that the board of directors had changed the age from 16 to 18, recognizing the need for our youth to continue to have supportive relationships throughout their high school years and it gave us more time together.
Over the past year, Tammy has grown to be more comfortable in social situations, more capable of expressing herself and her ideas and more eager to participate in new activities. Tammy’s confidence has soared and I have been able to help her learn basic life skills that have made a difference in Tammy’s ability to be more independent in her school environment and her home environment.
We recently spoke at one of our fundraisers in March to share our experience. Tammy wasn’t too sure at first but she did it and told the audience that “having a Big Sister has helped me gain confidence and allowed me to enjoy my community. It has been a great experience”. That warmed my heart and I am so happy to be her Big Sister.