anuary is National Mentoring Month. The following letters are from community members who are mentoring through the Big Brothers

My Teen Sis and I have been matched for about two and one-half years now, and I’ve seen her grow from a skinny little 11-year-old to a slender and graceful teenager. She is naturally reserved, and sometimes our visits are pretty perfunctory, with gaps of silence between us. But sometimes her enthusiasm bubbles out and she shares stories about school projects or activities with friends or little insights about her family. I love those visits and they always rekindle my enthusiasm for being a Big Sister.
Because she’s busy with sports and friends we don’t see each other every week, and sometimes a month or more will go by and I’ll wonder after a second or third unanswered phone message if she’s moved on and no longer has time or interest in a Big. And then the phone will ring, and we’re reconnected with plans for a movie, a kayak trip across the bay, or a trip to the sledding hill behind the high school.
I have felt since the beginning of this match that she is the perfect Little (now Teen) Sister for me, and I especially love how carefully she observes and reflects upon life. I have such faith in her as a person, and I’m glad to be part of the fabric of a society that demonstrates good choices and introduces the many opportunities that are available to such a bright and thoughtful child. Thanks to everyone who makes these matches possible.
Big Sister Jessica Ryan

My Big Brother Brandon Grochow is the best buddy a kid could hope for. When he takes me to the ice skating rink we play tag. He is really fast on skates and good at stopping. I am not that good at stopping except I am learning. Brandon is a good sport because when I throw the Frisbee when we play Frisbee golf and I miss, he will support me and be really nice. When I see him he is always calm. I have never seen him mad or not calm. He learns really fast. He is very patient and super fun all of the time. Brandon is in for anything. Brandon and I went to the baseball field and played baseball. I got a lot of home runs and didn’t really miss the ball a lot. I hit the ball over the fence into the woods. Brandon makes me feel calm and influences me to always care for others and think of others. When I grow up I want to be like him.
Little Brother Xander
Fourth grade

I’m not sure many people know about this option, but it is possible to join Big Brothers Big Sisters as a couple. At the end of July, my boyfriend and I were the first in Homer to do so. Together with our Little Brother we’ve played in Hornaday Park, baked cookies, hiked around in the woods and attended an event at Islands and Ocean. I’ve also met with my Little Brother when my boyfriend is out of town for work — we’ve gone boating/fishing in Kachemak Bay, read together in the bookstore and I’ve visited him at school during his lunch break where I met his classmates and teachers.
I have truly enjoyed reacquainting myself with the life of a 7-year-old, and I know my boyfriend and I have enjoyed watching our Little Brother gain confidence. He has tried many new things (like captaining the fishing boat), and has become very comfortable with us. I look forward to hanging out with my Little Brother, and I’m almost certain I get more out of our visits than he does.
Big Sister Lindsay Wolter

I like hanging out with my Big Sister Sherry Stead because she takes me out for ice cream and we go see movies. Sometimes we even get a small popcorn. I like it when we go out to nice restaurants that I haven’t been to before. We also go to the animal shelter to play with the kittens. When we go to her house, we make really good yogurt and dip. It’s really yummy. And healthy, too. I even licked the bowl. Once we made cookies and we took them to the Dr. Center and sang to them. That was fun. Sherry is the best Big Sister ever.
Little Sister Danielle
Fifth grade

I am looking for a Big Brother who likes to play hockey and video games. I live and breathe hockey and it would be fun to hang with someone who liked to come to my hockey games. I like other sports too.
Waiting patiently,
Little Brother Keegan
Third grade

I like hanging out with my Big Sister Susie Malone because she is awesome. We love to go swimming. She is a really good swimmer. We have fun playing games in the pool too.
Little Sister Timberlyn
Third grade

My Big Sister Jen Bando cooks with me. One day we made healthy cookies with the whole bag of chocolate chips. They were yummy. We go to the library, the Pratt Museum, Islands and Oceans and the ice rink. She thinks that I will be a hockey player. I see soccer in my future. Jen makes me laugh. She is fun. She is a great veterinarian. She is great at jokes. When we make cookies I feel hungry inside. I think she gets hungry, too. I also think her dog, Meatso, gets hungry. When we eat them they are so good. They are like little packets of joyful flavor. Jen said that she would take me to her work. She helps animals from dangers. She mostly does surgery and sometimes she has to put animals down if they are in misery and pain and cannot be healed. Jen is a great role model because she is kind, and she is a great helping person to animals. When I grow up I want to be a vet, and she is a vet, so we are paired up with the right person.
Little Sister Audrey
Third grade