Granite High World

Big Brother Big Sister Makes a Difference

Alyssa Weller, Staff Writer

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If you were anything like me as a young kid, you were probably very shy and awkward. Maybe you didn’t have many friends. Maybe you weren’t a stereotypical grade school kid or you weren’t well liked and often found yourself alone.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a very long-standing, reputable organization. They have put much thought and time into verifying and approving Bigs to be potential mentors.”

— Christy Dawson

To anyone who knows me now, you know that I am no longer that shy, awkward girl. A solution my mom found was the program called Big Brothers Big Sisters, a non-profit organization run through United Way. Big Brothers Big Sisters, BBBS for short, is a mentoring program where adults and young adults can mentor and offer guidance to children and teenagers. My little sister and I were both enrolled into the program as young kids and growing up in this program, I’ve learned so much.

You’re probably asking yourself, “How could this be a solution for someone?” or, “What can you take away from that?” So I asked our school social worker, Christy Dawson, and she said, “Big Brothers Big Sisters is a very long-standing, reputable organization. They have put much thought and time into verifying and approving Bigs to be potential mentors.”

She elaborated on her thoughts on the student’s involvement with the program. “The opportunity for our GCHS students to be a Big is wonderful. It can provide our teenagers a chance to help someone younger and be a good role model. Being a mentor takes a maturity of thinking outside of yourself, that is an amazing quality to develop as a human being, especially in your teenage years.”

Soon into the program I was matched with a wonderful lady named Tiffany. I was in the fifth grade and going through that awkward adolescent stage, and Tiffany impacted my family member’s lives in important ways. Tiffany was the owner at Cornerstone Counseling and she always knew exactly what to say and how to help me when I needed some guidance. Being an awesome role model, mentor, friend, and family, she helped me open up and be comfortable, step out of the box, and help me find who I am.

Tiffany and I were matched for 10 years before she passed away last year. From these last few years I have taken so much from the experiences and the things she has taught me. She taught me things I could never learn in the classroom or from my mom. We often would do activities through the program that I had never done before like, she taught me how to bowl and play pool. She also taught me to play yahtzee and took me to paint pottery and would often help me express my love for art.

We went places and she showed me the fun things in life: she showed me that there’s more to this world than our little town.

A young awkward kid blossomed into an outspoken and ambitious young lady— but I never could have achieved this without Tiffany. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without this mentoring program, the experiences I’ve taken away from it, and from Tiffany herself.

About the Writer
Alyssa Weller, Staff Writer

Alyssa is your average teenager that attends Granite City High School. She enjoys spending her time hanging out with friends and binge watching shows on...

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Big Brother Big Sister Makes a Difference