Motivated by the legacy of mentorship within her own family, with both her father and aunt having been deeply involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, joining the organization was a natural step for her. She fondly recalls the friendships and experiences shared with her aunt’s Little Sister during her childhood, witnessing the transformative power of mentorship that lasts over two decades later. This personal history fueled her desire to offer the same support and friendship to someone in need.

In her view, the essence of a good mentor lies in acceptance and empathy. Recognizing the individuality of each child in the program, she strives to create an environment where her mentees feel completely safe to express themselves. This approach has allowed her to witness the beautiful unfolding of each child’s personality and confidence, enriching her own life with enhanced empathy, communication skills, and a rediscovered joy in simple, playful activities.

Embarking on her mentoring journey, she had concerns about forming authentic connections, aiming to present her true self to her matches. To her delight, she found it surprisingly easy to bond with her mentees, discovering shared interests and creating new ones together. Nearly four years later, she has formed remarkable bonds with numerous children and youth, enriching her community through both individual matches and group settings like the Go Girls program.

Her mentoring adventures have been varied and enriching, including memorable outings to places like Ripley’s Aquarium and engaging in beloved activities such as arts and crafts and baking. Leading Go Girls groups has also allowed her to revisit cherished games and use creative projects to impart important life lessons, activities she wishes had been available to her in her youth.

Throughout, the support from Big Brothers Big Sisters staff has been invaluable, providing resources and ideas to navigate challenges, such as maintaining engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. This support system has ensured that she, and by extension her mentees, have never felt alone in their journey.

She wholeheartedly encourages others to explore mentorship with Big Brothers Big Sisters, emphasizing the organization’s flexibility and the varied opportunities available to make a difference in a young person’s life. Reflecting on her experiences, she advises new mentors to embrace their inner child and consider the qualities they sought or cherished in role models during their own childhoods. Her journey is a testament to the enduring impact of mentorship, highlighting how these relationships not only transform the lives of the young but also bring profound growth and fulfillment to the mentors themselves.