Each month, Big Brothers Big Sisters recognizes one outstanding Big for a strong commitment to his or her Little and to our overall mentoring mission. Read about how these Bigs connect with their Littles, what they talk about with their matches and how they overcome challenges while growing in their mentor friendships.
In this month’s Big Spotlight we focus on a Big Sister, Little Sister combo that has been off to a strong start ever since being matched in July of 2010. When Little Sister Camree and Big Sister Mary met for the first time, Camree’s mom knew instantly that her daughter was in good hands. Her first impression of Mary was that she was an “internationally hip” woman, and she knew her and Camree would discover plenty of ways to connect. Since that first meeting, the match has participated in a wide variety of BBBS activities ranging from marching in the State Fair parade, to going behind the scenes at the Guthrie Theater. They’ve donated their time to Feed My Starving Children, and took a “flight” to the North Pole on Southwest Airlines. At every event they attend, Mary and Camree can be seen giggling, smiling and chatting away at a mile a minute.
Mary, most recently demonstrated her passion and dedication to her match by helping Camree earn a grant from the Ann Bancroft Foundation. This $500 micro grant is awarded to girls who “dare to dream” and can be used to pursue an interest of their choosing. Girls who apply to the grant must have an adult mentor to guide them through the application process. Mary immediately jumped on this opportunity and together her and Camree sat down and looked through the paperwork and requirements. Then, they filled out the application together, submitted it and waited. By mid-December they found out that they were accepted and that Camree would receive the money, which she could use toward a school trip to Washington D.C. In her application Camree wrote, “My dream is to take part in making my community better, and I would like to use this grant to go on the Washington D.C. Close Up trip to learn how to be a great leader and do something better or life-changing for my community.”
When asked what qualities Mary admires in Camree, she responded, “I can’t say enough good things about Camree. She is smart, thoughtful, and outgoing. We never run out of things to talk about when we are out together. I am truly amazed at the level of compassion that she displays at such a young age.”
Compassion for others is clearly a genuine part of Camree’s character. In her portion of the grant application Mary wrote, “She is constantly commenting on ways that she would like to help others, whether it be her family, fellow students, homeless animals or others that require assistance.”
Mary and Camree plan on having many, many more exciting adventures in the future. Both are learning a lot from one another and having fun along the way. Mary helps Camree discover unique and challenging opportunities and Camree demonstrates an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. When asked where Mary sees Camree in 10 years, Mary responded, “There are so many possibilities for a girl with her vision, but regardless of what Camree chooses for a career, I see her being in a place where she is helping people. We have already discussed the likelihood of her becoming a Big Sister herself when she comes of age!”