Lise, an enthusiastic and compassionate boomer, is no rookie when it comes to volunteering – or mentoring for that matter. She was matched with her Little Sister in the one-on-one program for 12 years and has now stepped up to be an In-School mentor to her current Little Brother.
When her first match officially closed, Lise’s former Little Sister suggested that she look into the BBBST’s In-School Mentoring program, where adult volunteers spend one hour a week, in the school with a child in need of a mentor, only during the school year. Lise applied and was matched with a Little Brother earlier this year.
When asked how she manages to find the time to volunteer, Lise said, “First off, I asked to be matched at a school close to where I work and live. It takes me just 10 minutes to drive to the school from work and it takes less time from home.“ Her employer, St. Clair West Services for Seniors, is very accommodating, as they recognize the value of volunteering.
Although Lise enjoys her Big Sister role, it hasn‘t all been smooth sailing. As she shared, “The most challenging aspect is when a situation arises and you question whether you could have handled it better. Luckily, BBBST is there to provide guidance and support if needed.”
“Getting involved with BBBST is a truly rewarding experience and has provided me with some very important moments in my life. My Little Sister received a scholarship through BBBST. When I heard she was awarded the scholarship I was so incredibly happy because I knew what a difference having this scholarship would make in her life. I remembered meeting with her about the scholarship and encouraging her to apply. This spring she graduated from med school.”
This Big Sister has volunteered for over a decade and shared that “what surprised me most is how proud I feel being a Big and of being part of BBBST. Being a Big gives me a sense of accomplishment and contribution I have not obtained from most volunteer roles. Being a Big Sister is fun.”
This fall, Between Generations, our In-School Mentoring program for those 55+ is being launched. We are looking for 100 boomer volunteers, like Lise, to share their knowledge, experience and time with the children and youth of Toronto!