This blog post was provided by Jody Lundrigan, National Director, Communications and Marketing at Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada.
Some people are held back by life circumstances, and others use their experiences, good and bad, as a platform from which to shine. Shine is exactly what Dawn did as she became a mentor, and a hero, for a young woman in Toronto.
Dawn was raised in a notoriously rough neighbourhood in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough. Her parents split up when she was young, she moved through four different grade schools before settling in high school and, as an Indigenous woman, Dawn has faced racism and sexism throughout her life.
These things have shaped Dawn but they do not define her. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada has a definition for Dawn. We call her a mentor. We think she’s a hero.
The Mentee Becomes the Mentor
When Dawn was looking for volunteer opportunities, she thought about times in her life when she was moved by kindness. She thought back to her own youth. She thought of Ms. Thompson.
Ms. Thompson was Dawn’s grade nine history teacher and her high school’s Student Council Advisor. As her teacher, Ms. Thompson did not have to take an interest in Dawn. She did not have to spend extra time with her, or offer her additional support—but Ms. Thompson did anyway. It was this kindness, shown by someone who didn’t have to, that made her support even more meaningful. It was this kindness that led Dawn to Big Brothers Big Sisters because she wanted to pay it forward. She wanted to show another young person that someone believed in them. She wanted to give a young person the confidence to achieve more, just like Ms. Thompson did for her.
Our Mentors Are Heroes
Dawn is not only a mentor, Dawn is a hero to her little sister, and her little sister’s whole family. This is all because Dawn became a Big Sister.
There are over 23,000 people just like Dawn across Canada. They are mentors and they are heroes. During Big Brothers Big Sisters Month in September, we’re celebrating these heroes as we tell the world why #MentoringMatters through our #BBBSMonth online campaign.
Throughout the month of September, we’re working to tell the stories of the 23,000 Canadians who help build the confidence of 40,000 Canadian youth across the country who are empowered and gain confidence because of their mentor; we’re working to tell the stories of unlocked futures and endless possibilities; and we’re working to mobilize even more Canadian heroes, and match these mentors with even more Canadian youth.
To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada and how you can become a mentor, or to make a donation, please visit their Charity Profile Page >>