Meet Big Christine and Little Drishya. Christine and Drishya have been matched for 3 and a half years. Christine had two sons, so she thought it might be fun to be able to hang out with a girl for a change! When her sons went off to college, she seized the opportunity to become a Big.
Christine says, “When I was matched with 9-year-old Drishya, I was a little confused at first how I could help her. She was a smart, outgoing, pretty girl with a very loving and supportive family.” Drishya and her family are from Nepal. The family was hoping that by getting matched with a Big, Drishya could experience, learn about, and understand the U.S. culture in a fun, easy way. During their time together, Chris and Drishya have learned from and supported each other in many ways!
Chris and Drishya built their relationship through trying new things and learning together. The list of activities they have done is varied and long – everything from sledding and plant identification, to playing games and visiting museums. They even participate in the BBBSU Girl Scout troop together. One of their most consistent activities has been sharing their mutual love of reading. Christine says, “We usually read for 10-15 minutes each time we are together in an age- appropriate book and thus far have shared 4-5 novels.”
Drishya says about her Big Christine, “Chris is a great Big Sister. She helps me learn all sorts of stuff. Christine helped me learn how to cook, how to ride a two-wheeler, helped me get over my fear of dogs, and helped me learn how to swim. Chris helps me with a lot of things, and she is a fun, kind, good-hearted, amazing person.” It’s obvious how much Drishya values the time she and Christine have spent together.
The beautiful thing about a mentorship is that just as Drishya has learned a lot from Christine, Christine has learned a lot from Drishya as well. Christine says, [Drishya’s] family has educated me about some of their religious rituals and shared their traditional foods. “Recently her family invited me to the Krishna temple where I got to enjoy seeing Drishya and her older sister performing traditional dances and her younger brother doing a karate exhibit.” The Big-Little relationship is strengthened when a Big is welcomed into the Little’s family in this way.
This match shares a deep, caring connection. In Christine shared that it has been exciting to see Drishya grow in confidence and excel in school. “My favorite part of being a Big is seeing her learn new skills, hearing her ideas about things we are reading, and feeling the awesome connection I have with not just her but her wonderful family.” Chris says that those considering becoming a Big will likely find it to be a very rewarding experience if you enjoy the connection and look for ways to make a difference. Her advice for potential Bigs who are a bit older is, “just know you may have more perspective than a younger person.”