Samantha Copeland: There is not a better feeling

Big Brothers Big Sisters


My name is Samantha Copeland and I am a Social Work student at Western Illinois University.
I became a short-term intern for Big Brothers Big Sisters in January 2014, because I wanted to be part of an organization that helps children from all backgrounds.The parents and the schools recommend kids to us, and then we recruit adult volunteers from the community to match them with. A school-based match is when the volunteer spends lunch and recess, once per week, with their Little Brother or Sister.
The school-based volunteers help their Littles in many ways: assisting with homework, improving social skills, and building confidence. A community-based match is the more traditional sort of mentoring relationship, where the volunteer and Little go out together for events, activities, and experiences that might otherwise be unavailable to the child.
The community-based matches are the best way for an adult volunteer to be a role-model to a child in need of positive mentoring, as the volunteer has a great deal of freedom in planning meetings and spends twice as much time with their Little as the school-based volunteers.
My time here at Big Brothers Big Sisters has been very rewarding. I have helped set up events, assisted in fundraising, met the volunteer Board members, and assisted in interviewing potential Littles.
There is not a better feeling in the world than seeing a child light up when they know they will be meeting their Big for the very first time. It is also extremely satisfying to hear of the Littles making progress socially, academically, and emotionally. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great organization and we really care about children in the program.
When I was looking for an internship back in January, I heard from the previous intern exactly what the organization does and how effective it is in helping kids. I couldn’t think of anything better than stepping up and lending a hand to the children of my community, so the decision was an easy one. I have truly enjoyed my experience at Big Brothers Big Sisters, and am grateful to have had the opportunity to help the kids that need it. And I get to continue helping until May!

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