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Big, Little Sisters Reunite for New School Year

Needham resident is among the Boston area volunteers participating in a school-based mentoring program.

Submitted

It’s September and back-to-school season. Returning to school is exciting for more than 600 Little Sisters who will be reuniting with their Big Sisters in the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston's School-Based Mentoring Program. Big and Little Sisters meet once a week at the Little Sister’s school during her lunch period or after-school program.

Big Sister Leah McMullin, of Needham Heights, participates in Big Sister’s program at Edison K-8 School (formerly Garfield Elementary) in Brighton, where she meets with her Little Sister Zeinab each week.

Jason Gallagher, principal of Harvard/Kent School in Charlestown, recently praised Big Sister’s programs for the positive impact they have on his students.

“The Little Sisters at the Harvard/Kent truly love their Big Sisters,” Gallagher said. “It turns their whole day around when their Big Sister arrives.”  

Not only can spending time with her Big Sister turn a Little Sister’s day around, it can also turn her grades around. In the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston's 2011 Youth Outcomes Survey (YOS), Little Sisters who took part in the School-Based and Community-Based Mentoring programs showed notable improvement in their academic performance. Seventy-five percent of Little Sisters reported maintaining or improving their performance in mathematics; 71 percent maintained or improved in reading. Moreover, 92 percent of respondents planned to finish high school, and 85 percent intended to go to college.

Further research supports that most Little Sisters are able to meet these academic goals: in a 2011 survey of former Little Sisters, 82 percent were high school graduates, and 90 percent of those graduates went on to enroll in a college or trade school program.

The Big Sister Association would like to thank all of their volunteers for supporting academic success for Boston’s students. This is the busiest and best time for Big Sister to connect with women about becoming a mentor—this fall, the organization hopes to match more than 250 girls with a Big Sister of their own.

If you would like to help Big Sister Association meet that goal, consider setting up an information session where you work, allowing Big Sister to host a recruitment table in a lobby or cafeteria, or referring Big Sister to an employee resource group. Additionally, a financial contribution will help Big Sister recruit, train, and enroll these mentors, and will fund professional support of Big and Little Sisters once they have been matched.

With a Big Sister to guide them, girls can achieve an A+ in reaching their full potential. 

Learn more at BigSister.org or by calling the Boston office at 617-236-8060.

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