Volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters

Name: Adrienne Hailey Fox
From: Long Beach, CA
Votes: 0

Volunteering at Big Brothers Big Sisters

Junior year of high school, I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring
program. This is a voluntary program where high school students are
paired up with elementary school kids and spend 1.5 hours of their
Friday, every week, being a positive influence. Most of these kids
come from difficult home situations, where they might not have a
significant role model in their life. The goal of the program is to
be the positive role model in these kids’ lives. I chose to join
this program because I wanted to invest in the future generation, as
well as be a good influence in the life of my Little.

The Little I was paired with bonded with me very quickly. I connected to
her on many levels. Her parents were also no longer together, so I
could help her through it in a way I wish someone could have done for
me. I related to her and became the role model she needed. Part of my
responsibility as a Big, is to create a safe space for my little to
share any problems she faces in school or at home. It is part of my
job to help her overcome any issues brought to my attention. However,
my biggest challenge as a Big came about when my little started
sharing her personal issues. She let me know her home situation was
much more difficult than I previously thought. The new man her mom
married was not a good man, and did not treat her, or her siblings
kindly. This was especially challenging because I knew this type of
information could not go ignored and since I was the only person she
told, it was my responsibility to tell an adult. This situation
taught me the most because I had to be patient and understanding with
my Little, and be upfront with the coordinator. My little has taught
me a great deal about what it means to be a good role model, but more
importantly what it means to be a good friend.

The most satisfying thing about being a Big is being that somebody,
someone else can look up to. It is amazing to know I am impacting
someone’s life positively. Becoming a mentor for Big Brothers Big
Sisters shaped me into a leader, and a positive role model in my
Little’s life. Knowing that I successfully made a difference in the
life of someone else is the best part about volunteering.

Since I am moving out of my home town for college, I would like to find a
Big Brothers Big Sisters site in my new city to volunteer at. The
type of volunteering I do for BBBS is definitely forward looking
because it focuses on the next generation of kids. It is all about
making sure the next generation of people grow up with positive role
models to help shape them into better people. So, I really do think
if I checked back in on my Little in twenty to thirty years, the time
I invested in her would have made a positive difference in her life.
I think being her mentor and sharing some of my personal stories will
help guide her in the decisions she makes throughout middle school,
high school, and most importantly, life.