Mentor Appreciation Month: Big Sisters Marti Early, Big Brother George Wallace and Little Brother David, trio matched since 2006

Posted: Sunday, January 10, 2010

GEORGE

1. What do you get out of your friendship with your Little? "Well, laughter. He is an amazing child."

2. How has your Little benefited from your friendship? "Well, I have a son who is now 21 years old, so I feel like I have a second chance to watch a child's mind unfold. David loves sci-fi, so we watch sci-fi ; it is fun that we get to see his mind wake up and develop."

3. What would you say to a volunteer interested in being a Big but worried they can't commit the time or have the resources to be a Big? "I used to think I was too busy and wouldn't think we have time to hang out with him, but when we made time it was worth it and ... fun. The benefits and rewards just sneak up on you. It is something that is really worth making time for ... Everyone is really young at heart, and this brings the kid out in all of us and as an adult you have to stop and smell the roses and stop being too busy."

4. What do you and your Little do together? What are your favorite activities or a favorite memory? "We watch movies. We are also trying to help him ride his bike - whenever the weather cooperates."

MARTI

1. Why did you decide to become a Big? "I have always been interested in it. I read some articles in the paper ... about the school program and it sounded like something I could do, too."

2. What do you get out of your friendship with your Little? "It is so interesting and fun ... a way to interact with that kind of energy without having kids."

3. What have you learned from your Little? "I have learned that he has an amazing memory ... learned how he works and thinks and about video games!"

4. How has your Little benefited from your friendship? "He gets out more, he gets to go new places and to do things that he wouldn't otherwise do. We get to try new things too, like rock climbing."

5. Why is mentoring important to you? "Kids just need a lot of help, no matter who they are. Every child needs people encouraging them and helping them along the way."

6. What would you say to a volunteer interested in being a Big but worried they can't commit the time or have the resources to be a Big? "I would encourage them to call Big Brothers Big Sisters and talk to them about it because my match worked out great! I would encourage a volunteer to be clear about what they can offer and then talk to the staff at Big Brothers Big Sisters. The support they provide is very helpful to the matches."

7. What do you and your Little do together? What are your favorite activities or a favorite memory? "I enjoy our talks. I also like going on walks. We do a lot of different things. When we went to see "Raven's Journey" a couple years ago, he was riveted and so into it ... It was neat to see."

DAVID

1. What do you enjoy most about the match? "That we get to watch movies together."

2. What do you and your Big do together? "We watch movies and go for walks. We just made gingerbread cookies for the holidays."

3. What are your favorite activities or a favorite memory? "Watching movies is my favorite activity but carving pumpkins is my favorite memory."

4. Why do you like being a Little Brother? "I like to do stuff with both my Bigs."

KE (Mother)

1. What made you decide to get your child a Big? "I thought it would be good for my son to have contact with other adults."

2. What do you admire most about your child's Big? "The fact that my son's match has continued for many years ...They take him to Twin Lakes to ride bikes, which is very valuable."

3. Why is having a mentor for your child important to you? "They are good, interesting adults and I admire their dedication to the program."

•••

Are you or someone you know involved with mentoring Juneau's youth? If so,tell us about them. Throughout January the Juneau Empire will spotlight those who are committed to making a positive impact in the children's lives. Send a photo of the person and a brief description telling how they have made a difference to editor@juneauempire.com.



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