Grand Circle Associates Learn to Be a Big Sister
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Grand Circle Associates Learn to Be a Big Sister

Mentoring program enables busy associates to help young girls reach their potential

Grand Circle Foundation's ties to the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston are both long and strong. The Foundation is a long-time supporter of the organization, and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Re not only serves on the Foundation's Community Advisory Group, she also has been honored with the Foundation's Lewis Changing People's Lives award, an annual award that acknowledges the importance of contributing to those in the communities where we live, work, and travel.

So it's really no wonder that the Boston community service team would turn its attention to Big Sister.

Big Sister helps girls between the ages of 7 and 15 realize their full potential by matching them with a mentor who will give them the attention, care, and support necessary to make healthy choices in their lives. The focus of the community service team was the "Big For a Day" (BFAD) program, under which women can support Big Sister without the more intensive commitment of becoming a Big Sister.

Under BFAD, women can engage with and mentor a young girl on the wait list during a one-time activity designed and facilitated by Big Sister. Activities are as wide-ranging as bowling, dance classes, martial arts workshops, and scavenger hunts. BFAD activities occur once a month on a Saturday, and women can volunteer as little as twice a year or as often as once a month.

Two separate events were held in a special, creative meeting space at Grand Circle's Boston headquarters on January 25 and February 8 to acquaint women associates with the organization and get them excited about BFAD.

"The first event gave the women of Grand Circle a general overview of the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston and what they were currently doing in the neighborhoods within the city," reports Foundation Coordinator Lianne Hughes, who herself was once a Little Sister. "The second event focused on Big For A Day and the logistics of it." Representing Big Sister was Program Director Jennifer Gentile. In all, 16 Grand Circle associates attended.

"Big For A Day has been one of the most greatest volunteer opportunities I have ever encountered," enthuses Lianne. "The activities are unique because they bring the both of you out of your comfort zone while trying to build your confidence all at the same time. The activities teach you how to be bold, open, and courageous, and to take risks. I advise all women to get involved!"

Featured in our February 2012 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.