Meet Linda & Adilene

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It was June 9, 1998, the day before Little Sister Adilene’s 10th birthday, when she met her Big Sister Linda. Though neither Adilene nor Linda knew it at the time, this was going to be a relationship that would change both of their lives for the better, forever. The two recall their first meeting, hanging out in the backyard of Adilene’s foster mom’s house, putting together a Mickey Mouse puzzle.

Linda knew about Big Brothers Big Sisters since she was in her teens, and she thought it was a great concept. When she finally settled in one place (St. Paul) and knew she’d be there for awhile, she contacted BBBS to get started. At the time, the program made it so that  Adilene could chose from 3 potential Big Sisters, and she chose Linda because she spoke Spanish.

They found quickly that they shared common interests beyond the Spanish language, including trips to Como Park, hanging out in the backyard, going swimming, and cooking. After a few years, Linda brought Adilene to meet her family up at their cabin where the two canoed and Adilene camped for the first time. Linda loved having Adilene as a Little Sister and Adilene felt similarly about her Big Sister. Throughout Adilene’s life, she saw many adults in her life come and go, but Linda remained a constant and comforting presence.

Four years into the match, Adilene moved to the Southwest with her foster mom and her match with Linda ended, but their relationship was far from over. Linda continued to keep in touch with Adilene off and on, checking in on her and even visiting. Unfortunately, when Adilene turned 18, she was no longer welcome to stay with her foster mom. She quickly left the house, got married shortly after, and from there, endured a long road of troubles. It was at this time that, due to the nature of moving around quite a bit, Linda and Adilene lost touch. But not for good!

After a few years, Adilene decided to put the past behind her and move back to Minnesota. It took a few months of searching, but finally Linda and Adilene reconnected, and the two couldn’t be happier about it. Their relationship certainly changed. They are no longer Little and Big, but they’re beyond friendship, and closer like a mother and daughter. Adilene enjoys spending time with Linda and her children, and often tells them how lucky they are to have a mom like Linda. The kids roll their eyes, protesting that she enforces too many rules, but Adilene is careful to remind them that having rules means she cares, and that’s the best thing a mom can do.

To potential volunteer mentors, Linda encourages that they just go for it! There’s not another relationship like the one you can have with a Little, and it’s incredibly rewarding to hear about the impact you can truly have on someone’s life. Now, when Adilene pictures her future family, she pictures it the way that Linda’s family is managed.

Are you interested in making a positive difference in a child’s life? Learn more by attending an Info Session! Sign up here: http://www.bigstwincities.org/volunteer

 

In the Media!

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If you were flipping around your local television and radio stations last month, you may have noticed that January was an INCREDIBLE time for us here at Big Brothers Big Sisters! We LOVED celebrating our fabulous mentors and bringing awareness to the need for mentoring. Because we like nothing more than showing off our Bigs, here are a few of our television and radio spots in case you missed them.

First off, we have Tony Rozmenowski, a Big for 7 years, interviewed on the WCCO 4 News by Jason DeRusha and Kylie Bearse!

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Then Tony, and Gail Vold Greco, our Director of Communications, sat down with Pat Evans at KARE11 for a chat:

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Gail, along with Big Brother Vivek, was also featured on Cities 97 for an interview with Lee Valsvik, and she had a great time with Brandi Powell on KSTP Channel 5!

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And finally, KSTP’s own Cleo Greene (who also happens to be a Big Sister!) interviewed Big Brother Troy along with his Little, Luke, and his Little’s mom, Alison. Learn a bit more about their fantastic story by clicking the picture!

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Ready to mentor?

Visit http://www.BigsTwinCities.org to learn more!

Meet fellow Nerds, Jordan and William

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Like many of us, brand new Big Brother Jordan would flip on the news after work, and by the end of the broadcast, feel overwhelmed by the problems the world is constantly facing. But, instead of dwelling, Jordan was confident he could make a difference and chose to become a mentor, explaining “… by mentoring, we can become more connected in our community, we can learn and be inspired by our diverse and wonderful neighbors, and we can cultivate a caring spirit for all those around us.”

Jordan first learned about mentoring after hanging out with his dad one day in the garage. The walls of the garage were decorated with various paintings that Jordan hadn’t, until that day, given a second thought. He found out that the art was his dad’s, painted when he was just eight years old with his Big Brother.  47 years later, Jordan’s dad still holds on to these memories and is very appreciative of the experience he had with Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Inspired by both his dad and his desire to connect with his community, Jordan started the process of becoming a Big, and just a month ago, he was matched with Little Brother William.

Even though their relationship has just begun, the two are already getting along swimmingly. They’ve spent time at William’s favorite place (the library in his neighborhood) and the match looks forward to exploring museums, reading, and spending some time outdoors. “William is a brilliant guy.  He brings so many new perspectives and excitement to ordinary things!  I’m excited to learn about his world and see mine in a new light!” exclaims Jordan, who not only looks forward to helping William grow and thrive, but also is looking forward to benefiting from their relationship.

Below you’ll see a letter that William wrote to Jordan before meeting him. If this doesn’t warm your heart during these cold winter months, nothing will!

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Jordan looks forward to being fellow nerds with William for quite some time, and encourages others to join him, saying, “There are a lot of kids in our community who would LOVE to spend time with you, and you’ll have a GREAT time seeing the world through their fresh, exciting eyes!  What a great way to volunteer in the community – doing something beneficial that is flexible and amazingly fun.”

Visit http://www.bigstwincities.org for more information on how you can make a BIG difference in a child’s life!