Mentoring and Making the Grade

Big Sister Savanah on the left and Little Sister Angel on the right

Upon request by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, Little Sister Angel “graded” her Big. Angel gives her Big an enthusiastic A+.

Angel and her Big Sister Savanah were only matched in October of 2019, but they’ve become fast friends. Savanah works at Denso Manufacturing and participates in their workplace mentoring program, Bigs in Business. When it began last school year, the pair met twice a month onsite at Denso until COVID-19 ended the in-person meetings.

Now, during this pandemic, they exchange texts and phone calls and are exploring new ways to grow their friendship.

Always smiling and laughing together in person, the two share gregarious personalities. When asked what grade she would give her Big Sister, Angel responded that she’d give her an A+ because Savanah is “goofy” and has a terrific sense of humor.

Likewise, Savanah describes Angel as enthusiastic and creative. Angel enjoys arts and crafts and Savanah went out of her way to find engaging activities to do together. They’ve painted flower pots, colored, and made holiday cards. Savanah gave Angel painting supplies for Christmas, which Angel has made good use of while at home these past few months.

More importantly, Savanah has remarked how easy her conversations with Angel are and, while crafting and creating, both of them talked about friends, family, and academic challenges.

Savanah supports Angel’s efforts to improve her grades and strives to model a strong work ethic. The two routinely began their in-person meetings by checking Angel’s progress through the school online portal, and Savanah would sometimes “incentivize” Angel with snack treats.

Savanah shared with Angel her own school experiences and the obstacles she faced working and paying her way through college. Savanah recognizes Angel’s potential and hopes that, as their match continues, she will have more opportunities to encourage and support her personal and educational goals.

In a time fraught with uncertainty and isolation, when mentoring youth is more important than ever, Savanah and Angel’s relationship showcases what goes into a successful match; a willingness to grow together, be silly, and to never stop learning from each other.

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