Let’s travel back in time to the year 2013. I was in grade 9 and living what I would consider a pretty boring life; I went to school, hung out with friends, dreaded math class and watched a bit more TV than recommended. Every Monday, I would talk to my friends about what they had done over the weekend, and I’d listen to them tell me about all of their cool adventures.
As for me, most of the time it was the same story – lots of TV watching, time at church, grocery shopping and of course, algebra homework. It was not as fun as going to the movies, or camping, or getting over your fear of heights with good company. It was around that time that my mom signed me up to be matched with a Big Sister.
Let’s fast forward to 2014 in Ottawa, Ontario at the BBBSC and BGCCAN YOUth In Office event. At this point I had been matched with my Big Sister Claire for a while, and since our match, my weekends became all the more eventful. We went to movies, camping, and I even tried to get over my fear of heights with her support (although I admit, I’m still working on the whole heights thing). I would share and talk about my dreams and passions and Claire would listen to me and advise me. She’d tell me about cool opportunities and she would help me to apply for them. One of those amazing opportunities was YOUth In Office. It was the first time I’d ever been to Parliament Hill and I left the 3 day event feeling like my voice mattered.
The following year I co-lead a PowerPoint! I never would have thought that I’d be holding a microphone, having people listen to me speak. Big Brothers Big Sisters believed in my abilities and encouraged my passions and gave me a platform to voice my opinions. The most recent example of this was at the National Convention. As a member of the National Youth Council, I was able to discuss and voice my concerns and ideas with other amazing youth and be heard. I left feeling more empowered than ever before. I can’t wait to partake in more world changing conversations around youth mentoring at future conventions.
BBBSC National Youth Council Member