Brianna & Sharon - A Graduation Story
Graduation is a time of celebrations and new beginnings. This rite of passage often signifies a time when our Littles age out of the program, but for many of our Matches, it is often just the beginning of a life-long friendship. In fact, the gift of mentorship is something that some Littles pay forward by becoming a Big themselves.
Little Sister Brianna has always wanted to go to college but didn’t know how to start. Her Big Sister, Sharon, was there to answer questions and help guide her through the process. “She eased my stress on deciding where to go. And she’s talked to me about student loans and scholarships and helped me find more options.” With support and encouragement from her Big, Brianna has applied to four-year state universities and state schools and she plans to major in psychology at Keene State College this fall.
Brianna and Sharon have been matched for nine years. Brianna was just ten years old when they first met. Sharon recalls their first Match Meeting, “Brianna was super shy but she couldn’t wipe the smile off her face!” Through the years, Sharon has proudly watched Brianna become more confident and independent. They spend time horseback riding, painting pottery (lots of pottery) and just getting together to chat over lunch. Brianna says her Big really helped her get out of her comfort zone. “She taught me to always be true to myself.”
Sharon juggles a busy schedule with two young children and a full time job, but she always finds a way to spend time with Brianna. “There were times when it was a challenge to know what to say or what advice to give but I think I’ve grown in that way.” She said. “I’ve also become more open minded. Knowing I was having an impact on her makes me want to be a better person when I’m with her.”
Brianna’s mother, Maria, recalls the difference the Match made for her daughter. “She was always there for Brianna. She helped Brianna open up a lot and always had a positive outlook. The program changed her for the better. Both of my daughters had great success with BBBSNH. The Big Sisters treated them amazingly. Brianna had a great run with Sharon and she learned so much from her. I know they will maintain contact throughout her college years. I had all boys in my family…I wish I had a Big Sister!”
Big Sister, Sharon knows that Brianna will accomplish BIG things! “I’m so proud of her wanting to further her education. She sets her mind on something and does it.”
To learn about how you can volunteer as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire, visit our website at BBBSNH.org.