When I transferred to Vanderbilt as a sophomore, I knew I wanted to work with children in underserved communities as I had at my previous school through YMCA. After attending the Org Fair during my first semester, I came across Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vanderbilt. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about public schools in Nashville while continuing my work with kids. I applied and interviewed, worked with a Match Specialist, and was assigned a Little in November of my sophomore year.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is a non-profit organization whose goal it is to provide students across the country with the support they need to succeed in school and beyond. Similar to my work at the YMCA, I wanted to interact with students in a way that would hopefully have a lasting impact. Through Big Brothers Big Sisters, individuals can sign up to be assigned a student in a public school who they will then meet with for an hour once a week. The goal of these meetings is to give students the opportunity to build a relationship with an adult who can serve as a mentor throughout their education.
Serving as a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters is ideally a commitment of a minimum of two years. This commitment is intended to ensure that students in the program are able to trust their mentor and build a long term relationship with them. While mentors and students only meet once a week, the students need someone who they can count on to show up for them when they are supposed to. By devoting a minimum of two years to a Little, a mentor has the power to significantly alter their student’s life. Over the next few weeks, I hope to demonstrate the impact of Big Brothers Big Sisters through my experiences with my Little.