Making Deeper Connections

BrookLynn and Pamela

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we have the privilege of introducing wonderful volunteer mentors to bright-eyed mentees and forming inspiring relationships. Our professionally trained Match Support Specialists make sure every match is as successful as can be.

To our delight, we frequently find that people who have been exposed to our mentoring services and matches often choose to deepen their connection with BBBS by becoming Bigs themselves.

This summer, we have been excited to welcome several new Bigs whose relationships with BBBS began in different ways. Each of these individuals has had a connection with us that inspired them to become involved on a deeper and more personal level.

Pamela Hurley is a member of our Executive Board. She has also been a longtime Ice Ball participant, gala Host Committee member, and BBBS donor.

Pamela was matched with her Little Sister, BrookLynn, in May.

 “Becoming a Big Sister is something I’ve wanted to do for years but I didn’t feel ready until after having my own children,” she said. “Now I know I can fulfill this role. I’m excited about this connection with my Little Sister, and hopeful about guiding her in a kind and successful way.”

“My experience so far has been awesome, and I wish I had become a Big sooner,” Pamela continued. “But timing is everything, and this was my time. BrookLynn and I have been learning so much from each other. I’m getting to know her and we’re building a connection.”

Along with her children, Pamela recently took BrookLynn to Typhoon Texas Waterpark for the day after summer school classes had ended.

“BrookLynn met my boys that day and they love her,” Pamela said. “We all had a blast!”

Another one of our new Bigs began her relationship with BBBS as an intern with our Development department.

Celia Rasmussen said she decided to return to the organization as a Big Sister in order to make her own meaningful connection.

Arissa and Celia

“I’ve been a nanny for over a decade and valued the connection and relationships I made with children of all ages,” Celia said. “I’m at a point in my life where I have a ‘big girl job’ in real estate, and I found myself feeling like something was missing… the energy, fun, and learning that come from interacting with those younger than me on a daily basis.”

When working at our agency five years ago, Celia saw firsthand how successful matches benefit both Bigs and Littles.

“It was, and is, truly inspiring,” she said. “I hope to use this time to mentor a Little and build a bond that lasts a long time. I’m looking forward to seeing my relationship with my Little Sister grow!”

Celia was matched with her Little Sister, Arissa, by Match Support Specialist Arthur Spencer.

“Every step of the match process has been seamless; from the orientation and training to communication with my Match Support Specialist, to my first meeting and outing with my Little Sister,” Celia said. “The BBBS staff did a fantastic job of preparing me, and I feel a huge sense of ambition, joy, and excitement.”

“I’m looking forward to establishing trust and a connection with my Little Sister so that she knows I have her back when trying new things or facing life’s challenges,” Celia said. “Arissa is empathetic, caring, and adventurous. I can’t wait to see how her goals progress and how our relationship evolves after many new adventures together.”

Corrina Jacobs is a former BBBS staff member who is currently in the process of being matched as a Big Sister as well.

Corrina first became a Big after graduating from college in Boston.

“I was looking for ways to feel more connected to my local community – after leaving my college campus, I realized how insular my experience had been,” she said. “I was matched with a 12-year-old girl named Ericka and had a great experience. We both loved dance and art, so I took her to dance performances downtown and planned different craft activities. I valued the opportunity to be an additional source of support in her life and she was grateful to see parts of Boston she might not otherwise have been exposed to.”

After moving from Boston to Austin in 2013, Corrina applied to work at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. She was hired as a customer relations supervisor. In this position she supervised interviews with families and volunteers who wanted to become part of our program.

After returning to graduate school, and then taking a marketing job with another local organization, Corrina recently applied to become a Big Sister again.

“I love BBBS and wanted to do more to support the mission,” she said. “As soon as I started working in my new job, I was compelled to apply to be a Big Sister again. I had such a wonderful experience the first time, and after having conducted interviews with potential Littles earlier, it was impossible not to want to participate in the program again myself.”

Corrina is looking forward to pursuing a variety of match activities, such as visiting the Blanton Museum, coordinating art projects, trying new recipes, seeing movies at the Alamo, and going swimming. Ultimately, her goal is just to have fun with her Little Sister.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know my Little Sister and everything that makes her tick,” Corrina said. “Twelve is such a formative age when we really start to come into our own as individuals. I am excited to learn about what she might want to do. I really love exposing Littles to new things, and places, and supporting their passions.”

As an agency, our work is all about building relationships. We love it when Bigs start their match journeys with us, and it is particularly rewarding to welcome those who have had other connections with BBBS as they deepen their involvement with our work by becoming mentors to children in our community themselves.

By putting their passions for mentoring into action, these Bigs are truly ‘walking the talk’ and changing children’s lives for the better, forever. We can’t wait to see how their relationships – and ours – continue to grow!

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