Afifa's BBBSChi Story
By: Afifa Sharief
My name is Afifa, and I have been a Little in the Big Brothers Big Sisters for 6 years. BBBSChi is an awesome program! I can’t imagine what I would be doing right now without it. When I first joined, I had no idea what it was, all I knew was that I’d have something to do with someone who was older than me. If you look at me now, you wouldn’t believe that I’m the same person I was when I started.
My mentor’s name is Dawn, and she’s a great Big Sister. In the beginning it took me some time, but slowly, I started to feel safe with her and I began to open up. She made me feel like I can do anything, and that attitude has been with me ever since. She believed in me, and that made me believe in myself too. Our relationship has grown, and I feel like we’re on a close friend basis now.
We are a Site Based match meaning every other week we would meet with other matches in a group setting. Usually there’s a group activity that we do, which I really enjoy, because I like to interact and do something that everyone finds fun, together. I love going there because the atmosphere is loving and supportive, and everyone there is awesome!
For one of our sessions, we went to a forest during the fall. In that point of time, I had some problems going on in my life. At first, I didn’t even want to go out, but good thing I did, because the trip helped me. The day went by quickly as we hiked, and despite how I felt, I enjoyed my time there because I had never been in a forest before. We left the forest as the sun set, the hike helped clear my mind. I felt sane, calm, and at peace. To this day its one of my favorite outings I've been on with BBBS.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has transformed me into a better person. I remember the shy little kid I was when I first stepped into the building. And now looking back, I can say that the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, helped me turn into the confident, independent, and creative young adult I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for the love and support of my Big Sister.
I was recently matched with a new Big. Her name is Emily, and she’s awesome too. I can’t wait to see what we do together!
There are lots of kids that were like me, a confused kid that just needed some help or someone to talk to. You can be the helping hand to a Little like me waiting to meet you. Take the first step at bbbschgo.org/volunteer or if you’re a kid like me who wants a mentor check out bbbschgo.org/enroll to get matched with a Big.