At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.

Friday, July 24, 2015

It Often Begins Quietly

In 2001, Cheryl and her Little Sister Melissa met for the first time and went skating together at Bower Ponds in Red Deer. Six year old Melissa was quiet during their first meeting, but Cheryl was excited at the opportunity to be her Big Sister. During the first year of their match, Melissa barely spoke a word. Once a week, Cheryl would pick her up and they would go do an activity together. Cheryl would make efforts to begin a conversation, but Melissa would not respond or would make brief, one word answers while avoiding eye contact.

The lack of communication was concerning and, at times, frustrating for Cheryl, who was unsure if Melissa was even enjoying herself. At the end of their outings, Cheryl began to ask Melissa to rate how much fun she had one a scale from one to ten. Melissa would quickly say “ten!” then hurry inside her house.

It took time, but with a lot of patience and persistence by Cheryl, eventually Melissa began to open up. When this story was originally written in 2007, the pair has been matched for nearly 7 years -  the longest existing match in Red Deer at the time.

Where are you now Melissa and Cheryl? We'd love to hear from you!


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