Ashley was matched with her “Big” Alejandra in September 2017 in the community based mentoring program. When they were first matched, Ashley was in the fifth grade, and Alejandra was just starting her first job out of college as an accountant.

They have since developed a wonderful relationship. They have enjoyed a variety of activities together, fromgoing out to dinner, movies, playing tennis, Cirque du Soleil shows, Disney on Ice, spending time playing board games, going out for ice cream, shopping, reading, and playing 3D virtual reality. Alejandra realized that their best conversations often happened while eating dinner, so this is an activity they often do.

Ashley needed a Big because her socio economic status does not allow her family to spend much money on activities. Her mom said most of the time Ashley only goes to school and church, so it was great that she can have a Big who can take her do other type of activities, and someone who has a college degree so she knows the importance of having an education. Her mom said another benefit for Ashley of having a Big Sister is that she tends to be a follower, so is good that she follows her Big’s advice instead of some of the previous friends she used to have who were not providing the best advice.

Alejandra has always demonstrated accountability, a great attitude, and initiative.

Ashley is a 7th grader this year and lives with her parents, and her two sisters.Thanks to Alejandra, her Little Ashley has improved her confidence and her social skills. Ashley said that her Big gives the best advice, and she admires her confidence.

When Match Support Specialist Adriana asked Alejandra what motivated her to become a Big, she said “I was always the youngest in my family, and had great support from my older sister, so I wanted to give back, and be able to mentor someone else.” She also said that this experience is great for her because she learns to have more appreciation for her life, and she learns from her Little as well. Alejandra said thanks to Ashley she now has a much broader perspective.  Match Support Specialist Adriana asked Alejandra what it means for her to be Ashley’s Big Sister, and Alejandra said “Having the opportunity to share my experience, and my perspective about life with my Little Sister brings me happiness because I feel my mentorship can be useful to her.” Alejandra wanted to instill in Ashley that she could work hard and achieve her dreams, including one day attending college.