This guest post was submitted by Big Sister Kia from Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. Kia was matched with her Little Sister, Destinee, through MMP's Back-to-School campaign last year.
- Tell us a little about yourself and your mentee’s backgrounds.
I am a physician assistant at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the eldest sister of four siblings. My Little Sister Destinee is 15-years-old and a 10th grader at a METCO school. Destinee has a younger sister who is 10-years-old and also a “Little Sister.” We have been matched through Big Sister Association of Greater Boston for more than a year. We enjoy going to the movies, having pizza night, and spending time exploring museums and festivals around Boston.
- How did you hear about the Back-to-School campaign and what prompted you to get involved as a mentor?
I was prompted to become a mentor because I know the value of having a good mentor in your life to help you through various aspects in your life. There are so many pressures in a young girl’s life and navigating it alone can be a challenge. I have had great women in my life to help me with all the challenges that life has brought me. I just want to do the same for Destinee.
- What impact has your mentoring relationship had on you and your mentee?
One of the best moments for me is when Destinee had the courage to stand in front of a room filled with Big and Little Sisters to tell me how much I mean to her in her life. Helping her navigate the struggles with her mother while entering high school was a difficult time for her. She mentioned that by encouraging her to communicate better, I helped her to have a better relationship with her mother today. It’s still a struggle but we take each battle one day at a time.
- What would you say to those who are on the fence about mentoring (i.e. those who think they do not have enough time, expertise, etc.)?
I’ve spoken with many women who feel like they don’t have the time or skills to give back to a young girl. When I share my personal experiences and tell them how rewarding mentoring is both for me and Destinee, people tend to reconsider. There are so many options Big Sister has in programming that it makes it easier for women to see how they can fit in, especially if they already have that desire to give back to their community and help a young girl. I’m currently a community-based mentor and enjoy the ability to take my Little Sister to events locally. Speaking with other Big Sisters in different programming, I've seen they too have increased satisfaction spending time with their Little Sisters in their own way.