From the President and CEO
"I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people." -Rosa Parks
Among our key organizational values, which guide us to effectively serve nearly 5,000 women and girls each year, is equity. We define equity as:
Striving for a fair, just, and healthy society where girls of diverse racial, social, and economic backgrounds have equal access to opportunities.
Now, defining a value is one thing; how do we
We build across difference.
We know that 91% of our Little Sisters identify as people of color and that 31% of our Big Sisters do. While we strive to recruit a diverse volunteer base, we also work to cultivate understanding to build a more inclusive community. In 2017, we revamped our volunteer training to include cultural responsiveness content that further equips our Big Sisters to be effective mentors to their Little Sisters who may be of a different race or come from a different socioeconomic background. Last year we facilitated our cultural responsiveness training for student leaders at Boston College who participate in our BC Bigs program, which serves children at Boston's Mildred Avenue Community Center and Franklin Field housing development.
We focus on diverse representation.
Throughout the year we seek opportunities to engage a broad spectrum of role models and mentors in our community. We elevate diverse voices among our Big and Little Sisters and staff: from our second annual Diversity Board social media takeover to the women (and men!) role models walking the runway at our fashion show. As we like to say: you cannot be what you cannot see.
We foster access and opportunity.
Creating a network of champions who are invested in paving pathways to success for women and girls is a key factor in closing the gender gap. We do this through programs like Workplace Mentoring, which not only exposes girls to career possibilities and positive work environments, but also builds relationships between Big Sisters in the workplace. It is also the basis of our New Girls Network that provides female mentorship for our staff and Big Sisters that serves as a catalyst for personal and professional development.
Thank you for being on the journey with us as we contribute to the work of making Boston a more equitable community.
Workplace Mentoring at Alexion
On the heels of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we launched our third Workplace Mentoring partnership with Alexion Pharmaceuticals in Boston. On February 12, 17 fifth and sixth grade girls from the Eliot Innovation School in Boston's North End were transported by our partner, Paul Revere Transportation, to Alexion's new offices in the Seaport. Each Little Sister found her Big Sister match (chosen ahead of time by our staff coordinators) by pairing photos and facts about famous women in STEM. Many of the Big Sisters are themselves scientists whose work at Alexion is focused on developing and delivering therapies for patients with severe and life-threatening rare disorders.
The Big and Little Sisters spent their lunch time getting to know each other through lively conversation and activities. Little Sisters learned what their Big Sisters do at Alexion and got to take home special STEM kits of science-related activities. "We had an incredible time and can't wait for our next visit!" said Alex Shuman, Alexion's Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and a Big Sister in the Workplace Mentoring program. Check out our Instagram for more photos and videos from launch day at Alexion!
If your company might be interested in a Workplace Mentoring partnership with Big Sister Boston, please contact Christine Berardino, Associate Director of Site-Based Mentoring, to learn more.
Sisters Celebrate Galentine's Day
Galentine's Day--"a non-official holiday for ladies celebrating ladies"--may be officially recognized on February 13, but this past Saturday, nearly 80 Big and Little Sisters celebrated each other at our first-ever Galentine's gathering. The festivities were made possible by Wellesley Bank Charitable Foundation and tech firm, Yesware, who generously hosted the event at their space in Boston's Chinatown. The gathering included games, trivia, card-making, a raffle with prizes donated by Bank of America, and of course, waffles. Big and Little Sisters also had the opportunity to share their appreciation for one another on a chain of hearts, which included expressions of gratitude such as: "You make me smile." "You spend time with me." "You are brave, funny, and a good friend." and "You are perfect the way you are."
Mentoring Our Mentors Through the New Girls Network
to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first." -Iyanla Vanzant, speaker, author, life coach
On January 30 we held the kick-off for our New Girls Network: Class of 2019, sponsored by the Women's Foundation of Boston and hosted by Pricewater
. The New Girls Network began in the fall of 2017 as a catalyst for creating mentoring relationships between our staff and volunteers and women with diverse, seasoned career paths. The relationships help the mentees develop a network of champions and drive their personal and professional development, by leveraging the experiences and perspectives of their mentors. Attended by 25 mentors and 55 mentees, the kick-off event featured a panel of mentees from the Class of 2018: two of whom received promotions at work in the past year while the third enrolled in a PhD program.
One of the mentees commented that: "I really enjoyed the chance to meet different potential mentors, and it was inspiring to hear stories and career advice from so many successful women. It was also inspiring to meet a group of women invested in mentoring and building up other women." Another noted that she stepped out of her comfort zone to take advantage of the opportunity, and she's glad she did: "It was a great experience! This was my first event that I've attended without my Little Sister. I'm happy that I took the risk and went."
Now matched based on feedback surveys, the mentors and mentees will meet and communicate throughout the year to establish goals for their relationship and check in on their progress.
Check out more photos from the New Girls Network Class of 2019 Kick-off on our Facebook page.
Creative Ways to Invest in Girls
Women's History Month is just around the corner, and we've got a variety of ways you can invest in the
future of girls in March, and a few you can do all year round!
Love the sweet treats from
? Need a coffee to get you through the afternoon? Download the Flour app (if you don't already have it) and use it throughout the month of March to give yourself a treat and give back to Big Sister Boston! Using the app, you can donate money or earned rewards to Big Sister Boston directly--and Flour will match all donations made in the month of March.
Little Sister Board Hoodie Fundraiser
Guess what? It's still going to be chilly out there for a while. Stay warm (and cool) in a custom sweatshirt designed by our Little Sister Board. Your $35 contribution not only gets you a high-quality hoodie, it supports activities for our teen Little Sisters.
Get your hoodie today!
Help Big Sister Boston spread the word about the positive impact of mentoring relationships for girls with an ad in The Boston Globe! If you're a Globe subscriber--digital or print--you should have received an email voucher to donate ad space to the non-profit of your choice. You can also access the
donation page here
. Simply type Big Sister Association into the search box and choose us from the drop down menu of options.
You can support the work of Big Sister Boston while doing your shopping on Amazon! Simply go to
and select Big Sister Association of Greater Boston as your charitable organization.
Have a birthday coming up? Want to honor a woman who made a difference in your life during Women's History Month? Start a Facebook fundraiser in support of Big Sister Boston today! We've raised more than $2,600 since November thanks to you and your Facebook fam. Let's keep the momentum going!
to find out how to easily set one up.
Mark Your Calendar
Project Role Model Fashion Show
March 27, 2019
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston
join Big and Little Sisters on the runway for an event that will inspire more than your wardrobe! Join us for a fun, fresh, and fashion-forward fundraiser in support of Big Sister Boston's mentoring and enrichment programs for girls. Event details, list of confirmed models, and tickets available
Big Sister has a large, fully furnished
that can be rented for hourly or daily rates. Please contact our Senior Administrative Specialist, Deborah Pless, at 617.236.8060 for more information.