Big Brother Big Sister mentorship program is back for the next school term. This term I shall be mentoring two sweet teens.

Schools in US started for this academic year in September. So did the activities in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Last term, when I volunteered for this, we started in March which hardly gave us ten BBBS sessions till June to interact with the little. This year they started off pretty early. I wasn’t interviewed for the credentials this time. Just a casual email asking my willingness to volunteer for this term and my assurance of agreement was the only formality. This term we’ll be meeting for lunch on Wednesdays instead of Fridays. Kenisha has already moved to Virginia with her family. So I was looking forward to a new match this time.

Our first meeting was Nov 15, 2006. The first ones are always the ice breaker sessions. I was matched with Whitney a 13 year old 8th grader. After initial greetings in the school library, all big-little pairs were asked to assemble in the two allotted rooms for further activities. Whitney started telling me about her family. They are six siblings in total- three sisters and three brothers. The eldest is 16 year old sister with whom Whitney gets along pretty well. After two brothers is she followed by her younger twin Brittany and then a younger brother. Brittany happens to be in the same school and also in the BBBS program. Whitney has three dogs. One of them is called Midnight (endorsed by its pitch dark color). Our chatting hadn’t transpired for long when Carl, the organizer of the program, came to me with another young girl, Cherri. Experience in an area overrides the age. Being a returning mentor, I have been matched with two Littles – Whitney and Cherri.  

At the same age and still in the personality molding stage, the two girls are so different. Whitney seems to be a very well composed and reserved girl who chooses to open up only when she is very comfortable with the conversationalist. Cherri on the other hand is a very spontaneous, ardently impetuous and outgoing girl. W thinks a lot to be very certain before she describes her favorites – candy, drink, cartoons, games etc. C just blurts it out at the spur of the moment believing that these passions of hers would anyways change with time. W talks about the boys she likes in hushed tones while C unhesitatingly has all exhilarating tales to reveal. C becomes so impatient when W takes even a moment’s pause during talks. Cherri has one elder brother and sister. She is the youngest and enjoys the luxury of being the pampered one. 

I started volunteering for this program as a service for the society and the underprivileged. But when I ponder back, these community services indirectly provide so many returns mainly in terms of personal growth. BBBS this term would probably help me learn how to manage in harmony two conflicting personalities within a limited time frame. Nice mentoring session for me too J