Tiffany and Yalia
Tiffany Normandin is a loyal Big Sister. She was originally matched in late 2011 with her Little Sister, Yalia, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based mentoring program with fellow employees from Unum. A group of Bigs and Littles meet weekly during the school year at Elm Park Community Elementary School in Worcester.
Tiffany and Yalia
Tiffany wanted to become involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters because she felt fortunate during her childhood to have really positive role models, including her parents and athletic coaches. Yalia wanted to have a Big Sister because her older brother, Nino, has been matched in the BBBS program for almost a decade and has had a tremendously positive experience.
Within a few weeks after being matched, Tiffany and Yalia realized that they were interested in transitioning into BBBS's community-based program - and by the beginning of 2012, they did just that.
Tiffany and Yalia participate in a wide range of activities together and the two bond over the fact that they both love animals. They have spent time at the Ecotarium in Worcester and the Sterling Animal Shelter and both claim to learn a lot through these experiences.
One of their favorite days together was when Yalia visited Tiffany's house for the first time. The pair spent the afternoon grocery shopping - searching for ingredients so they could make dinner together. After dinner, Tiffany and Yalia made cookies for Yalia's family including chocolate covered Oreos with sprinkles, chocolate covered pretzels and sugar cookies cut into Christmas trees and gingerbread men.
Over the past year, Tiffany, as well as Yalia's Assistant Principal, have noticed that Yalia has gained a lot of self-confidence. Tiffany also enjoys seeing the difference in how Yalia treats those around her. The two often discuss the importance of having positive relationships as well as how to approach situations in a positive way. Tiffany and Yalia's match support specialist has also been pleased to report a variety of changes in Yalia – noting that she is always smiling and her self-esteem has been sky high.
Tiffany and Yalia both genuinely enjoy the time they spend together and look forward to the many experiences they will certainly share together in the future!
Peter & Allen
Allen has been matched with his Big Brother, Peter Martin, since December of 2010. For Allen, who lives with his mother and three sisters, it's nice to have some 'guy time' every once in a while.
Peter & Allen
Allen's mother, Laura, explains their relationship: "He thinks Peter is his real brother. He asks every day if today is the day (during the week) that he'll see Peter."
Peter and Allen have had the chance to do a lot of fun things together, such as playing laser tag and going to the movies. But during the summer, there is one thing that Allen always wants to do with Peter – go fishing! Allen says that he would spend every day fishing if he could – it's relaxing. Peter also has attended some of Allen's karate activities, another way he shows that he supports his Little Brother.
On a recent report card, Allen received high honors. He was also sent home with a note from his principal about his improved performance in school. Allen's mother believes that her son's classwork and motivation to succeed are directly linked to his relationship with his Big Brother. With encouragement and a positive role model to look up to, Allen's confidence is sky high!