Real Life Stories

Many matches launch and sail so smoothly, they appear to be magical.  But what may not be apparent are all the elements that go into making great matches.  There are, of course, people and a process.  The process works because of the energy and efforts of people who adhere to professional standards and it becomes transformative because of the willingness of all involved to communicate clearly and calibrate expectations so that real needs are met. This Match of the Month is a shining example.

Kira and Alexis have been matched for six months, but they feel like they have known each other for years.  Their match has an added dimension because Alexis is a sixteen year old Kauffman Scholar.  The Kauffman Scholars program is a college preparation and access program that provides guidance and support to place urban youth on the path to college graduation. "This multi-dimensional program provides intensive academic enrichment and other support services to help students realize their full potential and prepare them for a successful future."  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas City is proud to be a community-based partner working with The Kauffman Scholars program to provide mentoring by caring and committed adults.

Little Sister Alexis' current focus is to graduate from high school and go to college.  She initially had reservations and thought that her Big would be someone with whom she would not be comfortable and unable to really talk over things that mattered to her. Their first meeting quickly allayed those concerns and Alexis knew they had one thing in common and that was fashion.  Alexis says, "she dressed nicely, so I was impressed."  She goes on to share, "one of the main things I enjoy doing with my Big is simply talking.  We can talk about anything."   Alexis lives with her mother and brother; they are very close and have a wonderful home life.  She recommends the program to other kids because she says, "it is a great way to meet new people and possibly start networking."  Will she be a Big when she is old enough?  Alexis sounds very reflective in saying, "I feel that if someone has taken out their time to be a Big to someone like me, I should return the favor and be a mentor to another young person."

Big Sister Kira is very busy.  She is a substitute teacher in Independence and an aspiring actress.  In the summer, she conducts acting and communications workshops.  She describes herself as a "people person who is fun-filled, caring, adventurous and positive."  Looking back, Kira thought Alexis was sweet, quiet and reserved at the first meeting.  She has come to see her as "very talented and amazing."    Kira has three brothers and always wanted a sister.  She feels that she and Alexis have a real connection and are a good balance.  She is hoping to help Alexis reach every goal she has for herself by continuing to stay in her life.  They go to baseball and basketball games, share laughter and food and lots of conversation.  There is never a dull moment.  Kira came into the match thinking it was all about Alexis.  Now she says, "I feel like my Little Sister cares about me."  She is pleasantly surprised about the growth they both have experienced and how much she's gained as a Big Sister. Kira appreciates Stephanie (Alexis' mom) meeting with her first and clarifying values and expectations. Kira says she is "surprised how little things can go a long way."

Stephanie, Alexis' mom, is very pleased with this match. She believes Kira encourages Alexis, is dependable and does not monopolize her time.  Without hesitation, she says, "I can trust that when she {Alexis} is with Kira, everything is okay and in great taste, character and the proper environment."  Stephanie shares that Alexis has always been "a positive, happy and respectful child, but I can see quite a bit more focus on her future since being matched with Kira."  Stephanie's perspective about the BBBS program is "it allows Alexis to get a glimpse of the adult world and all its various obstacles, trials, pitfalls but also the triumphs, successes and accomplishments through Kira's life."  That is very important to Stephanie.  Stephanie sums up her view of the match in almost poetic form, saying, "Kira makes it okay to be stylish but decent, fun but respectful, determined but tactful and in the world but morally centered."

You may not believe in magic but you must agree that all the elements of this match are pure gold.

 

 

    
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  • March Match of the Month
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