Becoming a Big

niobe & katieThank YOU to Katie at Niner Wine Estates for not only becoming a Big Sister, but sharing her perspective with us for National Mentoring Month.

I was in the right place at the right time to become a Big Sister.  I had volunteered with the program during my High School years in my hometown, and was looking for a way to start donating my time locally. The winery I work for started getting involved with must! charities and I met newly-initiated Big Sister Becky who was a wonderful combination of “I was terrified to become a Big” and “this is the greatest thing I have pushed myself to do.” I was still scared of the concept, but reassured that the feeling was (at least semi) normal.

Fast forward four months and the time has flown. I have been a Big Sister to a (hilarious & talented) 13 year old girl, and while we are different people, our shared sense of humor and approach to the world means we spend a lot of time chatting and laughing. I’m absolutely thrown back into pre-teen years – our circumstances are different but the 8th grade struggles are the same: making friends who are your entire world, navigating the bullies, and trying to find what makes you different. Being a 13 year old is hard – I’m really happy I survived my own go at it.

For anyone out there even entertaining the idea of becoming a Big – do it. It’s going to push you out of your comfort zone and make you work, but at the end of the day you’ll be happy you did. We all could use a perspective change – it’s the best way to grow. With so many great kids out there just looking for someone to be there, you can switch up how you look at the world and learn to appreciate what you have.