Mentor Appreciation Month: Big Sister Amy McCormick, Big Brother Bob McCormick and Little Brother Malcolm

Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Amy, Big Sister

Why did you decide to become a Big? "I knew other Bigs who talked about the fun they had sharing their hobbies and learning new ones with their Littles. Being a Big sounded like fun."

What do you get out of your friendship with your Little? "My Little Brother, Malcolm, gives me opportunities to break away from regular day-to-day adult responsibilities and routines by discovering things to do that are fun for all of us. There are a lot of great activities we've done in the community - such as SAGA ropes course, zip-lining and whale watching - which I probably wouldn't have done if I wasn't a Big. Also just hanging out is fun, because Malcolm is a neat kid."

What have you learned from your Little? "One thing I learned is that the Arctic Tern has the longest migration of any bird in North America. Our Little Brother is a trivia buff, and I'm constantly amazed by all the random facts he knows about nature and history. I've also learned that even though adults are labeled as "mentors" with BBBS, the kids are mentors to adults in many ways, too. People of all ages can be teachers to one another in so many different ways."

How has your Little benefited from your friendship? "He's probably the one you want to ask, but I hope he's benefited from our friendship in the same ways I have. I think he likes getting out - to experience new things and fun activities in town."

Why is mentoring important to you? "I think it's important for kids to realize that they are valued, and for them to know that adults in their community care about them. And what better way is there to show children they are valued than to spend time with them doing fun things?"

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? "If you have a few hours a week or every other week to spare, you have enough time to be a Big. You don't need a lot of money. Inexpensive activities are often the most fun. Going for a walk, renting a movie, making dinner together or playing board games are all activities you can do for little or no cost. We're fortunate that some businesses in Juneau, such as JRC, the Rock Dump and Perseverance Theater, offer discounts or free tickets for matches."

What do you and your Little do together? What are your favorite activities or a favorite memory? "We've shared many fun adventures, such as SAGA ropes course, zip lining, volunteering at the animal shelter, practicing at the archery range and whale watching. And even though we've done some fun, outgoing activities together, some of the best moments are the simple things, like walking the dog, playing a game, or just hanging out and talking. I've especially enjoyed taking him out on our boat. Also, playing Mad Libs with Malcolm is fun because he comes up with some hilarious off-the-wall words."

Bob, Big Brother

Why did you decide to become a Big? "I saw how much fun my wife and her Little, Malcolm, were having. We had taken Malcolm out on the boat a few times, and I thought that it would be fun to do more activities together as a couples match."

What do you get out of your friendship with your Little? "The opportunity to see things from a kid's perspective. I enjoy being able to share some of the neat things about Juneau with our Little. Also, it's fun just to hang out and joke around with him."

What have you learned from your Little? "Friendships can take place between people of all ages; sometimes the most valuable thing you can give is your time."

How has your Little benefited from your friendship? "He gets to go out and do fun things that he might not normally get to do."

Why is mentoring important to you? "For the same reasons that any friendship is important: you enjoy each others' company and share new adventures together."

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? "Many of the things you already do in your spare time are things that would be more rewarding by inviting your little, such as going for walks or watching movies. We're lucky that Juneau has a lot of free activities that adults and kids can enjoy together."

What do you and your Little do together? What are your favorite activities or a favorite memory? "Fishing, walking our dog, volunteering at the Humane Society, zip-lining, doing art at the Canvas, watching movies and target practice at the archery range. One of my favorite memories was watching Malcolm reel in his first halibut."

Malcolm, Little Brother

What do you enjoy most about the match? "Considering it is a couples match, we get to do a lot more stuff, like go out on their boat."

Why are you glad you're a Little? "I get to do a lot of cool stuff with my Bigs!"

What has your Big taught you (fun, play, work, etc)? "They have taught me a lot ... they helped me with my drumming and also taught me a few arts and crafts."

What do you and your Big do together? What are your favorite activities or a favorite memory? "Fishing. We do a lot of archery and movies and crafts. My favorite activity was going to the Humane Society."



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