Volunteering with Big Brothers
and Big Sisters of Canada has been a very formative experience in strengthening
and applying my leadership skills. As an in-school mentor, I work with an
elementary school student once a week to foster and set an example of a
positive and healthy relationship. The reality of the world that we live in is
that there are many young people find themselves in vulnerable situations where
they are faced with mental health issues, family violence, identity issues,
poor living conditions, and other challenges. These adversities can hinder
youth from reaching their full potential.
My responsibility as a mentor is to provide guidance and
support to my ‘little sister’ so that the obstacles that she has faced and
continues to face in her life can be overcome with strength. It is my job to
instill a sense of confidence in her that she can achieve anything that she
sets her mind to, so that she can go on to lead a healthy and successful life.
I am able to accomplish this by planning and leading engaging and goal-planning
activities for both my mentee and I to participate in together. I lead
discussions with my ‘little sister’ about the importance of education and the
importance of and steps to accomplishing short-term and long-term goals. I
advise and challenge my mentee and provide consistency in her life. I share my
knowledge and experiences in life to connect her to broader experiences,
opportunities and networks, and provide a safe, nonjudgmental environment in
which she can share her experiences and emotions.