July 2018 Issue

From the President and CEO

Dear friends,
For many kids, going to camp is a formative summer experience that fosters independence, builds new skills as well as friendships, and creates a space for kids to enjoy physical activity and nature. It is a place to have fun and to retain the critical social-emotional skills learned throughout the school year. Yet, the resources to send children to camp, or provide other experiences that help them to learn and grow during the summer months, are not available to all families.
At Big Sister Boston, we're able to provide those resources for our girls in a variety of ways. Through our campership program, in which we partner with camps throughout New England, we will send 67 Little Sisters to camp. Already this summer, Big and Little Sister matches learned some new dance moves with the women of the Nozama Dance Collective, and  learned how to fly a plane with Above the Clouds! Next month, many of our Sister matches will explore science and engineering with the Society of Women Engineers, gain an appreciation of our justice system from a female federal judge, and discover what their Big Sisters do from 9-5 each day while envisioning their own future careers during Take Your Little Sister to Work Day.
While all of us here at Big Sister Boston will find time to enjoy the summer months, we will not take a vacation from creating access and opportunity for more of Greater Boston's girls!
With gratitude,

Big Sister Boston Earns Quality Award

At the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America National Conference on June 28, Big Sister Boston was once again honored with the federation's Quality Award. This award recognizes that in 2017 our organization exceeded the national standards for number of children served, total revenue raised, and overall quality of our Big and Little Sister match support as indicated by the number of relationships lasting at least 12 months. 

sisspotSister Spotlight: Big Sister Andrea Phantu & Little Sister Patricia
What has Big Sister Andrea helped her Little Sister Patricia discover in the three years they have been matched? "That I am stronger than I think." Look for more from Andrea and Patricia in the coming weeks on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and check out more stories of sisterhood on our web site.

Building Community

This summer, Big Sister Boston has not only been busy making Big and Little Sister matches, we've been fostering connections among our community, too!

Conversations Among Women, our panel discussion series geared toward women of color and hosted by our Diversity Board, focused on the ways in which women of color are reclaiming their narrative through sharing their own stories. The panel featured a Q&A with  Tania Del Rio , Executive Director, City of Boston's Office of Women's Advancement;  Malia Lazu,  Founder, The Urban Labs;  Tariana V. Little , Co-founder, EmVision Productions and DrPH candidate, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Tiffany Probasco, Freelance Writer and Professor of English at Bunker Hill Community College; Lisa Simmons, Director, Roxbury Film Festival; and Jessica Tang, President, Boston Teachers Union; and was moderated by Brandy Cruthird, President and CEO, BBB Health & Wellness Workout Innovations. Robust group discussions covered ways in which women of color are working to break down societal norms and stereotypes to reclaim their own narrative.

Our Young Professional Board hosted their annual Summer Soiree at Finn McCool's in Boston, raising $17,000 in support of our mentoring and enrichment programs for girls. More than 150 young professionals packed the room with fun and philanthropy!

Sometimes it takes a little intentional mingling--and in our case "flamingling"--for Big Sisters to forge relationships with one another. At our second Big Sister Social of the year, entitled "Let's Flamingle" and hosted by Yesware, 30 Big Sisters got to do just that. During the tropical-themed gathering Big Sisters were broken into groups based on the age of their Little Sisters, and with the help of a Big Sister staff member, engaged in meaningful conversations about the challenges and rewards of their experience. Think you might want to become a Big Sister and join in on the fun? Get started here!

staffspotGetting to Know You: 
Five Questions with Christine Berardino

Get to know the staff behind the work we do with Greater Boston's women and girls! This month, meet Christine Berardino, Manager of Site-Based Mentoring, our one-to-one mentoring program in which Little Sisters meet with their Big Sisters at the girls' schools once a week. Christine began her career at Big Sister Boston in 2015 as a Coordinator of Site-Based Mentoring. 

What brought you to Big Sister Boston?

In my previous role I worked as a Victim Witness Advocate in the Child Protection Unit at the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. I always loved working with children, but I wanted to be working for an organization that supported and empowered young girls, specifically in social-emotional learning.
What are the benefits of girls having mentors who meet with them in school?
Little Sisters love when their Big Sisters come to visit during the school day. It allows the students to take a break from class and just have fun. It is so great to see Little Sisters introduce their Big Sisters to their friends and take them on tours of their classrooms. School is such a big part of girls' lives, and our Site-Based Mentoring Big Sisters get a unique perspective by meeting with the girls at their schools.

What does the Site-Based Mentoring team focus on when school is out for the summer?
Although school is on summer break, we aren't! We are still interviewing potential Little Sisters and Big Sisters. We work hard to interview and match as many as we can in the summer, so that we can make lots of new matches at the beginning of the school year. The Site-Based Mentoring team also has a book club where we read books relevant to the work we do. A book we recently finished is Push Out: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris. We had fruitful conversations about how we could improve the work we do in the 28 schools we partner with, including the Boston, Cambridge, and Quincy Public Schools.

What are you most excited about in Site-Based Mentoring for the upcoming school year?
I am excited to see all the girls smiling when their Big Sisters return. I am also looking forward to a new partnership we created between Boston College and Mildred Community Center in Mattapan. The Little Sisters will be visiting their Big Sisters at Boston College campus for planned activities on Saturdays this upcoming school year. The Little Sisters get such a cool, first-hand perspective on life as a college student.
What do you love doing outside of work? Got any big plans for the summer?
I love spending time with my puppy, Lucy! A goal of the summer is to take her swimming for the first time. I also enjoy yoga and spin classes, traveling, and cooking new recipes. This summer I am a maid of honor in my best friend's wedding, so I am excited about that too. I will also be doing a lot of weekend trips and relaxing by the pool where I live.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Are you a subscriber to The Boston Globe? If so, you're eligible to redeem your GRANT voucher (automatically linked to your Globe subscriber number) in support of Big Sister Boston. 

Big Sister Boston will receive ad space in The Boston Globe equivalent to the dollar amount of vouchers donated. Donating your voucher is simple and quick:

  1. Click here
  2. Type in your subscriber number
  3. Type Big Sister Association (the rest will auto-fill) into the field for Certified 501(c)(3) Organization
  4. Click submit

Thank you for your support in helping us get the word out about our mentoring and enrichment programs for girls!

Mark Your Calendar

Last chance for tickets!
30th Annual Car Raffle

Drawing is this Thursday, July 26 at 1PM

Will you take the hot 2018 BMW 230i xDrive convertible courtesy of Herb Chambers or the cool $40,000 cash? Winner's choice! With just 1,951 tickets to be sold, the odds of you being that winner are looking good. 

Join us for the drawing, hosted by Lisa Hughes of WBZ-TV/CBS Boston at 1PM on July 26 at 100 Summer Street  in Boston.  Come for the fun, festivities, and to find out who the grand prize winner is!

Join Team Big Sister in the Rodman Ride for Kids

September 22, 2018
Various start times

Join Team Big Sister in the annual Rodman Ride for Kids. The non-competitive cycling event takes place in Foxboro and offers a 100, 50, or 25-mile route. As part of Team Big Sister, you'll be raising funds in support of our mentoring and enrichment programs for Greater Boston's girls. Total funds raised by Team Big Sister have the opportunity to be matched up to 3% by the Rodman Ride for Kids! We'll give you all the tools you need to set a course for fundraising success. 

If you would like to join the team, please register online or contact MK Thornton at mkthornton@bigsister.org or 617.236.5304.

Big in Boston

November 10, 2018
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Join us in celebrating and elevating Greater Boston's women and girls through the power of positive relationships. Our annual gala is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to show your support for the 2,700 girls we serve annually and help us match more girls with a mentor who will ignite her power and passion 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. 

Sponsorship available now. Individual tickets available in September.

Need space?   Big Sister has a large, fully furnished conference room  that can be rented for hourly or daily rates. Please contact our Administrative Specialist, 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