For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a Big Sister. I imagine it has something to do with me once being the perfect candidate for such a program, but not having access to anything like it. More than anything, I longed to graduate high school and become the first member of my family to actually graduate from college.
I worked so hard. Living on my own from age 14, working any and every job I could find just to get myself by and grabbing rides from anywhere I could just to get back and forth from school. I honestly don’t know how I did it, but I managed to do it all without many people knowing about my circumstances (too proud, or embarrassed maybe, to let anyone know I could have used a little help) and maintained an A-B average in school.
I just knew it would be enough, but it wasn’t.
It takes more than just drive to get you where you need to be. It takes knowledge and experience that I just didn’t have access to.
Had I had a mentor or service like Big Brothers Big Sisters to turn to, I imagine my life would have ended up much differently. I have been blessed beyond measure and I wouldn’t change the way things turned out for a anything in the world, but knowing what I know now … it all could have been so much easier. The doors were there for me, I just didn’t know they existed nor did I have anyone to point them out to me when I needed them.
I first encountered Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas when we partnered over the holidays to donate gifts to families in need while raising money for BBBSST. I spent some time with the people in their organization and realized they were in it for all the right reasons.
What I didn’t know, was they had created the ultimate mentor program, Inspire U, a few years ago and have been working tirelessly with companies in my community to foster relationships and create opportunities just like the ones I needed all that time ago.
I cried when I read about the program, and cried even more when I watched the video. This is powerful stuff and I am so excited to share it with you today.
Inspire U is a Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program designed to connect kids to careers, beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school.
It’s pretty brilliant actually, children visit their mentors monthly AT their workplace giving them a clear vision of what the workforce and corporate worlds are like and allowing the perfect opportunity for conversations about education, college and the future to take place.
Inspire U not only helps make mentoring easy for us busy folk, but actually helps shape the community as a whole by introducing young people to jobs right here in their city and putting them on the right track to prepare for them.
Be part of the solution, sign your company up for a mentoring program that puts middle and high school youth on a path to college and careers. Volunteer, become a mentor or make a donation to a program in your community helping match kids with their big brothers and sisters.
Disclosure: I partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters to bring you this message because it is a cause I care about and believe in. Thank you for allowing me to combine my work with my passions and share them with you here.