Mentor Appreciation Month: Big Sister Megan and Little Sister Kiera

Posted: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MEGAN, BIG SISTER

1. Why did you decide to become a Big?

"I became a Big because I wanted to be a positive influence on a child's life. I was extremely lucky to have people in my life that guided me and set good examples growing up and I wanted to pass that on to someone else."

2. What do you get out of your friendship with your Little?

"I get a lot of joy out of our friendship. No matter what we do, we always have fun. It's like being a kid again."

3. What have you learned from your Little?

"I learned to view the world from innocent eyes again; to realize the joy and excitement in the little things."

4. How has your Little benefited from your friendship?

"I think she has learned that an adult, although years older than she, could be a great friend and someone to lean on and trust."

5. Why is mentoring important to you?

"I feel like it is crucial that kids have someone to look up to and trust."

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 think anyone could be a Big. As a School Program Big, all you need is one hour a week. As a Community Program Big, you spend more time with your Little, but if you are committed to it you can make it work. There are also a lot of activities that you can do with your Little that don't cost money, so that isn't even an issue."

7. What do you and your Little do together? What are your favorite activities or a favorite memory?

"We've done a lot of things together: fishing, whale watching, art, pumpkin carving and hiking. One of my favorite memories was when Keira and I went to the glacier to film a Big Brothers Big Sisters commercial. The weather was terrible; it was pouring and we were soaked but she pushed on. We were being so goofy and having a blast even though we were cold and wet. Right before we left, we saw a sow and two cubs in a tree and Keira thought that was the coolest thing. She still talks about it. I love how she has fun no matter what we are doing. It inspires me!"

KIERA, LITTLE SISTER

1. Why did you want a Big?

"I was lonely and needed a friend to do stuff with."

2. What do you enjoy most about the match?

"Hanging out, having fun and being away from my sisters."

3. Why are you glad you're a Little?

"It's fun to hang out with people and it's fun!"

4. What has your Big taught you?

"Patience."

5. What do you and your Big do together?

"We go to the Canvas, rock climb, hike and just hang out sometimes, too."

6. What are your favorite activities?

"Just hanging out and playing with her."

7. Your favorite memory?

"Probably the day we met."

MALONIE, MOTHER

1. What made you decide to get your daughters' Big Sisters?

"I had worked at Child Services and seen how the program had helped kids, so I called and asked if I could get my girls involved, too."

2. What do you admire most about your daughters' Big Sisters?

"That they are really positive people. Always energetic ... and happy to see the girls. That builds their self esteem. The girls really admire them (their Bigs) have really positive attitudes toward life and they are really good role models.

3. Why is having a mentor for your child important to you?

"Their Bigs take an interest in their experiences. They nurture their creativity, interests and experiences. It is important for children to have those types of connections with adults, besides with their mom, who tells them to unload the dishes."

•••

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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