Mom Tanya signed up both her son Adrian and daughter Alliana five years ago. According to her, both Darren and Nancy have had a BIG impact on her children.
Tanya, What made you decide to reach out to Big Brothers Big Sister of Grand Erie?
“I just wanted my son and daughter to have someone else there, besides just me. It was the perfect time. They both ended up with great matches. I could have asked for the In-School mentoring, but I wanted them to get out, do stuff, and not be shy.”
Can you tell me about the process… was it difficult?
“It was pretty simple. They had told me it might be a while – especially for Adrian – because there was a long list for boys, but it didn’t. It was two months. There was a process, but it wasn’t overwhelming or scary.”
To Adrian: So, what did you think when Mom told you “I think you should have a big”?
“Well originally Alliana had asked for a Big Sister, I didn’t really think anything of it. But then mom said, “would you be interested?” And I was pretty iffy about it. I had my friends. I didn’t see how it would benefit me at all. But Mom signed me up for it anyway. Then she was like “you’re going to meet your Big Brother tonight” and I was like “ok”. And then Darren came over and that was that – five years later… We are great friends.”
What have you gotten out of those five years
“A lot. It doesn’t feel like five years… I just feel like I have this great friend. I mean our relationship has gotten stronger over the years, but we basically do the same stuff we used to do. We are both very competitive with one another. Always have been, always will be. My favorite thing about him is, he’s just so genuine in everything he does.”
Alliana, what has it like for you? You said you have a friend who was a little sister. That’s how you first found out about Big Brothers Big Sisters and you knew you wanted one. So you must have been excited to meet Nancy?
“She is so nice and funny. She has a great laugh.We did a 5k run together – that was one of our goals. We have volunteered together. Nancy has a great personality. I love spending time with her.”
Tanya: “She has gotten so many great opportunities thanks to Nancy and Big Brothers Big Sisters. They are a great match. Nancy gives her challenges and motivation. She helps her with projects and homework, and they are both really into crafts. She can talk to Nancy, they can be silly together. Nancy’s great! She pushes Alliana – but in a good way.”
So, if there are parents out there thinking about reaching out to Big Brothers Big Sisters to get a mentor for their child, what would you say to them?
“Do it! It’s a long-lasting relationship – a lifelong friendship for them. It’s never too late but the sooner the better…”