Leila and Chelsea: A Special Connection
Mentors bring guidance and knowledge to their Little Brothers or Sisters, as well as critical support. But the mentoring relationship also brings something else – a lot of joy and fun. The kind that comes from the simple gift of enjoying someone else’s companionship. Of being with that good friend you enjoy laughing with and experiencing new adventures alongside – creating some of life’s more enriching moments. A relationship like the one Leila and Chelsea share.
Matched a little over two years ago, the pair hit it off from the beginning. “We are really close,” said Little Sister Leila, who speaks well beyond her fourth-grade years. “We kind of understand each other.”
This seems to be true as the two enjoy pursuing all kinds of activities together. “We go to the park, we go out to eat, we work on crafts,” said Big Sister Chelsea. “We like getting out of the house and trying new things. We went canoeing recently and it was Leila’s first time ever. It was so much fun.”
The match was created right before the pandemic hit and spending time outside is particularly important to this pair. “Yeah, with the pandemic it was rough,” said Chelsea. “There were times we were like, ‘I hate being in front of a computer right now. That’s the last thing I want to do.’ So, luckily, we were able to make it work and just meet outside, ten feet apart.”
They made slime, which Leila said was gross, they went roller skating, and they are planning to go horseback riding in the future. “We can’t go yet,” said Leila, “because I had hip surgery. So, we can’t do a lot of ‘leg’ activity until next year. And a horse is my favorite animal.”
Consequently, Chelsea said they have been creative with their activity choices, opting for craft time making Christmas ornaments and, before Halloween, painting pumpkins. Plus, having play dates together for their dogs, both Chihuahuas.
Other activities they like? “We also like to compare height,” deadpanned Leila, who then cracked up.
“Do we like that?” asked Chelsea, laughing, “or just you? Yes, some of us have stopped growing.”
“I’m going to pass her up soon,” said Leila, who might be getting close to being as tall as her Big Sister. It’s a conversation they obviously have often, and one Leila really enjoys.
“She’s just really fun,” said Chelsea. “Honestly, she’s just like a good friend. We like hanging out together and catching up, talking about the week. Leila’s back in school now, so it’s fun hearing about her life. I’m very thankful that the program brought us together.”
During these demanding times, creating and sharing joy and fun is something we all need, but it is especially true for our Littles, many of whom who face challenges beyond the norm.
You can create this kind of stability, connection, and support for children in our community with a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas through Amplify Austin, a community-wide giving campaign that runs through March 3rd. Early giving is now underway and all donations make a difference.
Amplify your support for kids in our community with a gift to BBBS today at www.AmplifyATX.org