From the President and CEO
When women are ridiculed for speaking up, when women are shamed, women are silenced. And, girls hear that message loud and clear.
Perhaps you saw this message that we posted to the Big Sister Boston social media platforms last week. For us, it is a message both timely and timeless. The practice of silencing women and girls is not new. What's more, a recent survey found that between the ages of 8 and 14, girls' confidence levels fall by 30 percent. At 14, when girls are hitting their low, boys' confidence is still 27 percent higher.
And yet, we are hopeful. We are hopeful that the 4,900 women and girls we serve annually will raise their voices; that through the professional support and guidance we provide, as well as opportunities for leadership, they will begin to speak up and speak out. Ultimately, both the women and girls in our programs develop the confidence and connections to achieve their goals by advocating for themselves and others.
For each woman and girl, that can look different.
Over the weekend some of our Big and Little Sisters gathered for an afternoon of education and creativity by
participating in an activity
based on a quote from the first African-American Congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm: "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring in a folding chair." They learned about Congresswoman Chisholm, and they told us what "a seat at the table" means to them. It is a theme that we'll continue to explore this month at our
Conversations Among Women panel
and again on November 10 at
Big in Boston.
It is a theme that is embedded in all that we do throughout the year: from hiring former Little Sisters as staff and interns, to creating leadership opportunities through our Little Sister Board, New Girls Network, and Diversity Board.
Our vision? A day when all women and girls have the confidence, access, and opportunity to take a seat at any table they choose.
Together, we will make this happen.
New Look, Same Commitment to Women and Girls
Something look a little different? On October 1, 2018, Big Sister Association of Greater Boston launched a new, modern look and brand repositioning along with nearly 300 Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliates across the country. While Big Sister Boston's logo may have changed, our commitment to serving 4,900 women and girls annually throughout Greater Boston is stronger than ever.
Corporate Partner Spotlight:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
We often say that when girls thrive, so does our community. Our long-standing, robust partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is one of the ways in which we work together to foster girls' healthy development so that they can positively impact their families, schools, and neighborhoods. So far this year, 11 women from BCBSMA have volunteered as Big Sisters, each giving their time, attention, and care to a girl in the Boston community. BCBSMA also supports our work philanthropically and through representation on our Board of Directors. And, of course, we always appreciate having fan favorite, BCBSMA Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs, Jeff Bellows, on the runway for the past seven years at our annual Project Role Model fashion show!
In September, BCBSMA and Big Sister Boston partnered for the eighth year in a row on Blue Cross Blue Shield Service Day. Together with 45 members of the company's Blue Crew, we cleaned, painted and repaired playspaces, grounds, and computer/study areas in the Ruth Barkley Apartments in Boston's South End, a neighborhood where 7% of our Little Sisters live. Big Sister Boston was also invited to present our Workplace Mentoring model to BCBSMA's women's networking group and guests brought news coats to donate to our annual Winter Coat Drive for our Little Sisters. Finally, a representative from the company's innovation hub held a session on design thinking with Big Sister Boston's leadership team to facilitate planning for 2019, which will allow us to make and support more quality mentoring relationships.
We are proud to have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts investing in our women, girls, and community, and look forward to finding more opportunities for partnerships that get #Girls2Great.
A Seat at the Table for Every Girl
What does your seat at the table represent?
"I want to be a positive speaker when I am older." -Little Sister Zariyah, 12
"[Our chair] stands for Big Sister's efforts, and what every female deserves: a voice." -Little Sister Jade, 17
" 'Small brings big greatness,' represents that even though we are young, we can still bring a great mentality." -Little Sister Kissani, 14
"I have the freedom to be whatever I want when I grow up!" -Little Sister Angie, 11
"I am going to use my bright personality for the greater good of others and our environment that we all share." -Little Sister Cierra, 12
On October 6, we partnered with the
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate
and asked our Big and Little Sisters:
What does taking a seat at the table mean to you?
The Big and Little Sisters answered by creating chairs that represent how they will take a seat at the table. In their artist statements, they talked about what their chairs mean. The seats will be displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, during our
Big in Boston gala
on November 10.
Why We Must Encourage Girls to Take Risks
According to an October 1 article in
The New York Times, girls' confidence levels fall by 30 percent between the ages of 8 and 14. Encouraging girls to take risks, refuse to shy away from failure, and experience recovery and mastery is the key to confidence-building.
"Alexa, Support Greater Boston's Girls"
Shopping on Amazon? You can add support for Greater Boston's girls to your cart with the click of a button! Many of our programs involve crafting or science activities that require supplies. You can help by visiting our
Amazon Wish List
and ordering a donation of supplies for our Big and Little Sisters to draw, collage, make slime, and most importantly, strengthen their bonds through quality time together.
Take me to the Wish List!
Give Back, Get Involved, Get #Girls2Great
Upcoming Big Sister Boston events you don't want to miss.
Sip & Shop (& Support) with J.McLaughlin
October 13, 2018
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sip, shop, and give back with Big Sister Boston at the
store. 15% of all purchases during this date and time will benefit Big Sister Boston's mentoring and enrichment programs for Greater Boston's girls. Gather your friends and make it a girls' day out!
Little Spin for a Big Cause
October 14 & 28
Exhale, Battery Wharf
Join Big Sister Boston's Young Professional Board for a little Sunday spin and support their fundraising efforts through the Rodman Ride for Kids! Each 45-minute spin class will get your endorphins soaring, while the price of admission will be matched by up to 3% by the Rodman Ride for Kids. BONUS: Each ticket you purchase gets you entered into a raffle to win one of two one-month memberships to Republic Fitness.
Conversations Among Women: How Women of Color are Creating Social Impact from Social Capital
October 24, 2018
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Join Big Sister Boston's Diversity Board for a robust panel discussion, as we explore the importance of Women of Color networks and how Women of Color are breaking barriers and turning social capital into social impact and career opportunities.
Big in Boston
November 10, 2018
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Celebrate and elevate Greater Boston's women and girls through the power of positive mentoring relationships. Our annual gala is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to show your support for the 4,900 women and girls we serve annually and help us match more girls with a mentor who will ignite their passion and power to succeed. Big in Boston 2018 will be chaired by Allen & Gerritsen CEO, Andrew Graff, and honor C Space chairman, Diane Hessan, for leading the charge on increasing women's seats on local corporate boards and giving women-run businesses a leg up.
Or come for The After Party, hosted by Big Sister Boston's Young Professional Board from 9:30 PM - 11:30 PM. Featuring live music, dancing, open bar, dessert bites, and more!
Big Sister has a large, fully furnished
that can be rented for hourly or daily rates. Please contact our Administrative Specialist, Deborah Pless, at 617.236.8060 for more information.