Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a big sister. As the doted-on baby of the family, I can’t put my finger on exactly why I wanted a little brother or sister so much, but I was pretty adamant I’d be the best sister to them. At one point in my childhood, I can distinctly recall asking my mom if I could have a little brother or sister. All fairness to her, this was a request she immediately shut down.
Luckily, throughout my teen years and early twenties, I was able to foster my interest in child development through volunteerism, jobs, and college courses. It wasn’t until I’d settled down in a place that I felt was more long-term that I realized I could finally fulfill a childhood desire that never fully went away… albeit through a more mature lens.
Enter Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. I applied to be a Big Sister in March 2015, and was matched with a quiet, quirky 11 year old girl soon after. At our first meeting, we shared ideas for outings like growing a garden, making crafts, and drawing. Over two years later, we’ve encountered new challenges, conversations, and outings that we’ve both learned from. Being a youth mentor is an experience unlike any other, in part because you rarely get the chance to witness and shape someone’s development in such a consistent way.
One area of BBBSLA I’ve taken solace in has been our community. A frequent participant in the BBBSLA Facebook group, I enjoy learning about the outings and ideas other matches have, along with sharing contributions from my own experience as a Big. I recognize that I don’t have all the answers, nor does any one person. Rather, my expectation is that relaying the ideas and experiences that my Little and I have had, and those of other matches, might encourage a positive dialog to further youth mentoring in our community. So, without further ado… let’s get this show on the road!