Although I have been a big sister to my little brother since I was 6 years old, a little over a year ago I became a big sister again as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh program. I was equally as excited to become a big sister both times, despite the years in between!
When I was in college I was the Panhellenic President, meaning I was essentially in charge of 3,000 sorority women, so I felt like every decision and action was making a gigantic impact. It was a stark transition going from that high level of responsibility to being thrust back to the bottom of the food chain in the working world. While I enjoy what I do, I couldn’t shake the feeling like there was a missing piece. I needed to find a way to make a positive impact in the community because it had been such an integral part of my college experience and I missed that tremendously. I was inspired to get involved in the community when I moved back to Pittsburgh and Lebo and started living on my own.
A coworker recommended the Big Brother Big Sister Program of Greater Pittsburgh because she was a Big Sister herself and enjoyed the experience. When I talked to my friends and family about it, I found out that back in the day my dad was also a Big Brother years ago. (It’s amazing how your parents can continue to impress and surprise you as the years go by!) Once I learned about his past involvement, I was inspired to apply for the program.
After the background screens and interviews, in December 2022 I was matched with my new little sister. It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year. I can only hope that I have made a positive impact on her, but I know for sure she has made a positive impact on me. The experience has taught me that you are never too old to take advice or get your face painted.
In a way, my inner child feels awakened and I’m remembering how much I’m inspired by creativity and trying new things. I have experienced more this year than I ever expected: Pirates games, arcades, bowling, candy stores, pottery painting, pumpkin patches, the Carnegie Science Center, the Three Rivers Arts Festival, escape rooms and so much more. One of our favorite places to visit is Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop – it’s perfect for children and adults alike to have a laugh and grab some great candy. We have bonded over sharing a connection to Grandpa Joe’s through our sweet tooth tendencies!
If you’re still looking for a New Year’s Resolution, I highly recommend getting involved in the community in some way because you never know where it may lead you.