Originally published in Colchester Weekly
Feb 7, 2018
Alison Grant, Business Development Officer with the Town of Truro was just 8 years old when she signed up to have a Big Sister. Alison had two different Big Sisters and was matched with her second Big Sister for 10 years, until she graduated High School and aged out of the program. As a youth Alison remembers the relationship being very special, one she didn’t have with anyone else. “Looking back now, I see it as a mentorship role, but as a little girl it was someone to have fun with, but who also had important insight and advice to share with me. Someone whose opinion I respected and sought many times. It was usually about small things, but I knew it was always someone I could ask about anything.”
Many children in Colchester don’t have this person in their lives. They don’t have someone they can just have fun with and forget about all the other stresses they may be facing. One of our caseworkers recently took three of the boys on our waitlist out for supper and to the new Levels Game Loft. On the way home from the outing he said to her, “You know, that’s the most fun I’ve had in a really long time.” Imagine how his life would change if he had someone who did those things with him every week.
Many times it’s something as simple as that. It’s a relationship with an older person who isn’t your mom or dad, who isn’t your older sibling or a teacher. In Alison’s case it was just having another person in her life that she saw as a role model that she could trust and confide in.
Her Big Sister was always leading by example and providing guidance and insights which helped Alison get to where she is today. “My Big Sister helped me realize my potential. She exposed me to so many new things that I likely never would have experienced if I hadn’t had her in my life. In many ways, she helped me realize what was possible by exposing me to so many things that I have carried with me throughout my life.”
Alison had such a positive experience as a Little Sister. She wanted to provide the same experience for another young person. Alison and her Little Sister did many of the same things Alison had done with her Big Sister, years prior. Alison wanted to allow her Little Sister to feel like a kid, and leave her daily stresses of the day at home. Alison unfortunately moved away for work and the match had to come to a close. When she returned to Truro she was ready to get involved in the agency in new way, as a Board Member.
“Most of our board members are Bigs or have been Bigs in the past” said Executive Director Michelle Misener. We are very grateful to have such an engaged board, one who brings their experiences as Bigs and Littles to the table. This really allows them to have a special insight on what we do.”
As an agency, it’s always our hope that Littles grow up and lead healthy and successful lives. Having Alison as a member of our board and an active member in our community is the greatest reward we could ever expect out of a match.
From all of us here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester, thank you to our community volunteers, partners and champions who make Colchester a great place to live, work and play.