Did you see Oprah’s speech at the Golden Globes? Oprah received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement and delivered a powerful and uplifting message. We LOVE Oprah because she radiates change, hope, and inspires people to believe “a new day is on the horizon.” People always want to thank Oprah. In order to be thanked you must first do something genuine for another person which lends to the perfect time to celebrate national mentoring month.
My journey with Big Brothers Big Sisters started while I was in my MBA program. I was working full time, going to school at night and on the weekends and my life was crazy. My real estate group Orange County Young Professionals Network was hosting a Big for a Day event spearheaded by our Chair who was on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Even though I had to turn down lots of invitations due to my busy grad school schedule this one made me feel really bad. I realized my current life was all about ME. Every day was about getting ahead at work and in school to build a life, but what was I doing for others? About a week before Big for a Day a rep from BBBS called me to see if I could make the event and I explained my current school situation. Before hanging up, pretty much out of nowhere, I said, “I will call you once I’m done with my school program and sign up to be a Big Sis.”
I finished my MBA program and finally felt like I could take a breath of fresh air. Now it was time to help someone else because I made a promise to myself, along with the BBBS rep a few months earlier, that I would be back. I consulted with family, friends, and a few friends who were Bigs then turned in my application, got my fingerprints scanned, went to an orientation and waited. I clearly remember that day when I received a call that they found a potential little sister for me. My little sister Alyssa and I were matched when she was only 11 years old! Over the past four years we’ve gone on a variety of fun outings from sailing to getting our nails painted, to exploring new interests and hobbies and going to the movies to name a few. We met other Bigs and Littles at organized events, shared lots of laughs, talked about life, and most importantly have created a treasured friendship. I’m so happy that I’m part of Alyssa’s life. I am truly thankful that “I am a mentor” because it’s important to help others and strive to make the world a better place.