Apart But Together

The strong spirit of our High School Bigs matches has continued on this past year, despite the struggles posed by COVID. With so many schools offering virtual-only instruction, or not allowing volunteers to enter schools, our High School Bigs programs from Bethlehem Area School District and Whitehall Coplay School District quickly transitioned to meeting virtually so that Bigs could still provide Littles with the social-emotional support that is important–now more than ever given the reduced amount of person-to-person interactions. Big Sister Angelique recently shared with BBBSLV,

“Having a virtual program instead of an in-person one doesn’t change the value of our time spent together. The fact that I can still chat with my Little and hear his updates on life is what is important to me!”  

Each week, Program Specialist Kristen Myers facilitates a meeting on Zoom where Bigs and Littles meet in break-out rooms to spend one-on-one time together, which is a hallmark aspect of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring model.  

Each month of programming has a special theme ranging from Thankfulness in November to Self-Esteem in April. Bigs and Littles are provided with activities to complete together that help them grow and connect with each other. Big Sister Madison shared,

“I have been enjoying my little drawing sessions with my Little Sister. It is something me and my Little really like to do and it is always fun to see what she is gonna draw that day.” 

While there are still many uncertainties ahead, the BBBSLV High School matches have shown that despite challenges, they will persevere in building connections.  In the words of Big Brother Angelo,

“It is still important for Bigs and Littles to continually meet during these times especially due the fact that many now than ever, need someone in their lives to look up to, talk to, be there for them, and have fun with.  The program has made me realize that I can still participate in activities impactfully through a virtual setting.”