Leila & Chelsea: New Horizons

Leila & Chelsea: New Horizons

It’s hard to pick just one. Out of hundreds of moments together as a match, most Bigs say it’s hard to pick one special mentoring moment with their Little because really… they’re all special. They are hundreds of moments that reflect a growing relationship that is positively impacting a child’s life.

When Big Sister Chelsea was matched, her Little Sister Leila was only 7 years old. “She was young, interested in toys or games,” said Chelsea. “A lot of times when we would get together the focus was on simply having fun.”

“We have been matched for over 5 years now, and Leila has moved a few times in that period, so being a constant in her life along with her mom has allowed us to have a really comfortable, trusting relationship,” said Chelsea.

Such trust has enabled the pair to go on a variety of outings and to discuss Leila’s future. “We like going swimming, skating, and exploring ideas about the medical field,” said Leila, “because Chelsea works with hospitals.”

Chelsea works in medical device sales. Her occupation has fueled Leila’s interest in the medical profession. “Leila has seen me in my scrubs, and we talk about all types of careers in the medical field,” said Chelsea. “I’ve taken her to an event at a hospital where kids could play with medical devices and learn about different procedures. However, she really does her own research. She went to a STEM camp over the summer and learned how to do stitches on a teddy bear.”

Leila has also undergone several hip surgeries in her young life, which has further inspired her interest in the medical field. “Her surgeon was Dr. Gottschalk at Dell Children’s Hospital,” said Chelsea. “She said he was so caring and changed her life by fixing her hip injury, so she wanted to do the same for others and ‘pay it forward’.”

It’s all added up to Leila considering becoming a pediatric surgeon, though she admits that the thought of having someone else’s life in her hands sounds a bit scary. “She’s still growing so things change every day,” said Chelsea. But their relationship has certainly given Leila possibilities to consider for her future.

Considering options and exploring new experiences has been a staple of their match. “Any time we try something new that she doesn’t initially want to do but ends up enjoying is a good mentoring moment,” said Chelsea. “Recently we went to the library together. Leila had not wanted to go but she ended up loving the library and checked out several books with her new library card.”

A simple library card that can open a world of new experiences, spark curiosity, and inspire potential.

Little moments that lead to big impacts. That’s the power of mentoring.

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