June 2019 Issue

From the President & CEO

Dear friends,
Did you know that 91% of girls matched with a Big Sister have increased educational expectations for themselves? This belief in one's own abilities is linked to improved academic achievement, high school graduation, and college attendance. A positive mentoring relationship develops a girl's confidence, which enables her to do better in school and avoid risky behaviors. Being a part of the Big Sister Boston community also creates more access to opportunities that can help our Little Sisters achieve their goals.

We  support our teen Little Sisters with programs that are specifically geared toward their post-secondary success. In our Sister Scholars program, we not only provide our Big Sisters with resources to support their Little Sisters on a path to higher education, our Teen Coordinator also works with Big Sisters to nominate their Little Sisters for scholarships. This month, Little Sister Maya, who has been matched with Big Sister Marisa Tucker since 2012, received the $20,000 Kelly Award scholarship . After Maya gave a speech accepting her award at Mass Mentoring Partnership's Champions of Mentoring Breakfast, an executive from the City of Boston approached Maya about finding more scholarship money for her--access and opportunity in action!
Many of our Little Sisters are currently in college. Little Sister Ajaria, who has been matched with Big Sister Lisa Pontest Siniawski for 12 years, is attending Bunker Hill Community College as a full-time student while also working part-time. Little Sister Daniah, who has been matched with Big Sister Jean Gulliver for seven years, is attending Bridgewater State College, working part-time, and applying for jobs at Beth Israel and Brigham and Women's Hospital to get a head start on her desired medical career. She says of her relationship with Big Sister Jean: "She taught me a lot, opened my eyes, motivated me, and was there for me." Little Sister Natasha is studying marketing and finance at Boston College, while Little Sister Justina, who won the Light of Dawnn scholarship in 2016 through our Sister Scholars program, is continuing her college education in the fall.
As we celebrate the academic milestones and successes of our Little Sisters this month, know that as a volunteer, donor, or partner, you have played a part in that success by being 100% invested in girls.

In gratitude,

A Father's Perspective

While 46% of our Little Sisters are being raised by single mothers, 2% are living in a household with a solo dad. Jason is a single parent who is raising 11 year-old Little Sister Mackenzie, who has been matched with Big Sister Lisa Taranto since 2017.

1. What is most challenging and what is most rewarding about raising a daughter? 
Being a single dad, the most difficult part is trying to put myself in my daughter's shoes when I was her age. It's not easy to have the female point of view or understand the growing pains she is going through. The most rewarding is seeing how compassionate she is towards her friends and family.

2. How did you hear about Big Sister Boston and what made you decide to enroll Mackenzie? 

One of my closest friends of almost 40 years, Laura Nardone, introduced us to Big Sister Boston and felt Mackenzie would be a perfect candidate for the program.

3. What do you think makes Big Sister Lisa a good match for Mackenzie?  

Lisa is an all-around caring person, amazing, intelligent, and insightful. She has such a natural, calming, positive parenting influence on both me and Mackenzie.  I'm not sure exactly how her sons phrase it, but they do say something like "Lisa is full of useful information." She has a natural knack to figure things out and explain them to Mackenzie in layman's terms, so she understands.

4. How have you seen Mackenzie change or grow since being matched with Lisa?   

Her academics are off the charts, high honors in her classes, and I know Lisa has a lot to do with her success.  Lisa has also introduced and exposed her to hobbies like sewing, arts, crafts and numerous other things I would not have a clue to but would still try teaching. 

5. You saw Mackenzie and Lisa walk the runway in our Project Role Model fashion show this year. What was that like for you?  

When they were being introduced I began to cry (tears of joy).  It was wonderful. Lisa's husband, Tom, and their son, Alex, along with some special co-workers and of course, Laura Nardone, were there to share such an amazing night. We all screamed to Lisa and Kenzie and have some great photos and videos that have been shared repeatedly.

6. What's been your proudest moment as a dad?   

Raising both Kenzie and her brother Lennox single-handedly, pretty much since they were both born. They have been resilient in the face of the harsh realities of life.

7. Why would you encourage other parents to enroll their daughters with Big Sister Boston?  

It has done wonders for my daughter's confidence and giving her girl power. I strongly recommend that all girls become or ask for a Big Sister.

Little Sister Maya Receives the Kelly Award Scholarship

On June 7, Little Sister Maya, who has been matched with Big Sister Marisa Tucker since 2012, received the Kelly Award Scholarship from Sonja Kelly and the Kelly Family Foundation at the Mass Mentoring Partnership Champions of Mentoring Breakfast. Maya and Marisa were able to take advantage of this opportunity with support from our Sister Scholars program that connects teen Little Sisters with scholarship, financial aid, and other post-secondary education resources.

Although Big Sister Marisa was unable to attend, she had already celebrated the news with her Little Sister and sent a congratulatory video message.

Big Sister Marisa Tucker Congratulates Little Sister Maya on Kelly Award
Big Sister Marisa Tucker Congratulates Little Sister Maya on Kelly Award

You can read more about Marisa and Maya's relationship here.

From the Sky to the Sea to the Street!

Our Big and Little Sisters have had some big adventures this month: from marching in the Dorchester Day Parade with Mayor Walsh, to flying a plane with Above the Clouds, to sailing the Charles River with the Women's Sailing Association's AdventureSail program.

Creative Ways to Invest in Girls

Amazon Smile
You can support the work of Big Sister Boston while doing your shopping on Amazon! Simply go to  https://smile.amazon.com/   and select Big Sister Association of Greater Boston as your charitable organization.

Facebook Fundraisers
Have a birthday coming up? Want to honor a woman who made a difference in your life or the special relationship you share with your Little Sister? Start a Facebook fundraiser in support of Big Sister Boston today! We've raised more than $3,000 since November thanks to you and your Facebook fam. Let's keep the momentum going! Click here to find out how to easily set one up. 

calendarMark Your Calendar

31st Annual Car Raffle
Now through July 25

Summer is here! Time for the tough decisions--will you take the hot new 2019 BMW 230i xDrive convertible from Herb Chambers BMW of Boston or the cool $40,000 in cash? Purchase your ticket(s) today and you could be enjoying one sweet summer while supporting Greater Boston's girls.

SOCA Cardio Kickboxing w/ Big Sister Boston's Diversity Board
Saturday, June 22
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
East Coast School of Martial Arts, 7 River Street, Mattapan

Start your Saturday by sweating it out in the name of sisterhood. Big Sister Boston's Diversity Board is hosting a SOCA Cardio Kickboxing class in support of our mentoring and enrichment programs for Greater Boston's girls. Choose from one of two hour-long sessions that put the fun in fundraising and get your energy up for the day ahead.

Conversations Among Women
Shattering the Silence: Tackling Critical Issues in Health Care for Women of Color
Wednesday, July 31
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Boston Medical Center, FGH Building, Boston

Join Big Sister Boston's Diversity Board  for a discussion with clinicians, community leaders, patient navigators and other advocates of women's health, about healthcare disparities for women of color, including minority LGBTQ communities, strategies for closing the health gap, and how you can take control of your own health.

Ride with Team Big Sister in the Rodman Ride for Kids
Saturday, September 21
Foxboro, MA

Join Team Big Sister in the  29th Annual Rodman Ride for Kids! This non-competitive cycling event puts the fun in fundraising to support our mission of igniting girls' passion and power to succeed.  You don't need to be a pro cyclist or a pro fundraiser to join Team Big Sister--we'll equip you with everything you need for success! Register today to participate in the 25 or 50 mile ride around the back roads of Foxboro or ride "virtually."

Need space?   Big Sister has a large, fully furnished conference room  that can be rented for hourly or daily rates. Please contact our Coordinator of Benefits and Administration, Deborah Pless, at 617.236.8060 for more information. 

Proudly Supported by

Big Sister Association of Greater Boston | 617.236.8060 | bigsister@bigsister.org | www.bigsister.org
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