Teresa Walker wants kids to know that life is filled with possibility. She believes adult mentors can influence kids by helping them see there are different ways to navigate the world. That is why she volunteers with Big Brothers, Big Sisters (BBBS).
Memories of a teacher telling her she was really smart in math, was the start of what motivated her down a career path in engineering. Teresa inspired girls to consider non-traditional career roles in science and math based industries by mentoring in schools for 20 years sharing a message to young girls that “Math doesn’t have to be scary!”
A big sister for the last six years, she and her little sister share similar interests.
“She’s very smart,” Teresa said. “I want to show her there are options in life and I try to share things she may not have an opportunity to participate in.
Recently, we attended the YWCA’s Girls Summit. At first her little sister didn’t want to stay. I told her we had to stay until the end, Teresa said. “At the end she said that it was pretty neat!”
Her little sister has had challenging family situations. Teresa feels she can be a positive influence in her little sister’s life.
One of the first things her little asked her was, “how long are you going to be my big sister?” Teresa told her “as long as you want me. I want to see you graduate college.” “She holds me to that!” Teresa beams.
Teresa gave a lot of credit to the BBBS matching program. “They ask a lot of questions and do a thorough job. I stressed that I’d like to have a child who enjoys the outdoors. We spend time hiking and hanging out outside.”
She said the experience brings rewards for both. “My little sister has taught me to be more patient and about having second chances. She see’s life very differently and kids see things that adults can’t. She has taught me about resilience and even though someone faces tragedy, you can bounce back.
Developing an ongoing relationship with a kid who is now a young adult is pretty cool,” Teresa said.
Consider being a Big Brother or a Big Sister. There are plenty of kids in need.
Good things happen when someone takes the time to help a kid discover the wonders
they can achieve in life.
Call Jennifer Thompson, Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, (RSVP) Volunteer Coordinator at 360-943-2773, ext. 21