What is your background and how were you nominated for SISTER2sister?

A good friend of mine was a Big Sister the year before I got involved- she felt that I’d make a good Big Sister candidate. It sounded like such a wonderful, fascinating program that was making a real difference in the lives of the girls that I applied to be a Big Sister (and was accepted!).

My background: I’m Australian, but had a very nomadic childhood. By the time I graduated from high school, I’d attended seven schools in three countries (Australia, Malaysia and the UAE). Somewhere along the line becoming an expert in being the ‘new kid’! After school, I studied communications at CSU in Bathurst and then continued my travels, working for PR agencies in Sydney, Dubai and London. I returned home to Sydney about 6 years ago.

What was your greatest experience being a Big Sister mentor?

The best part about being a Big Sister is seeing how far the girls progress in the space of a year. The “anything is possible” lesson is one we can all stand to be reminded of from time to time. SISTER2sister gives the Little (and Big!) Sisters the chance to challenge themselves and try things they never thought they would or could do.

Getting to know these amazing girls, many of whom have already had to deal with issues that adults twice their age would struggle to manage, seeing them grow in confidence, and recognising a new set of horizons for what’s possible in their lives is really inspirational. I am pretty sure I got as much, or more, out of being involved in the program as Aiesha did.

What impact did your Little Sister have on your life? Are you still in contact with your Little Sister?

Aiesha is a superstar- such a bright spark! The world is her oyster. Aiesha has an amazing singing voice. She’s very smart and creative, and she has clear goals for what she wants to achieve in life. On top of all that, she’s one of the kindest, most thoughtful people I’ve ever met.

Aiesha has taught me to be more mindful of the people around me, to be grateful for the wonderful people in my life, and to try to be more understanding or curious about the more difficult characters we sometimes encounter. She has a great way of finding the positive in almost any situation, which I think we can all stand to learn from.

Why should someone become a Big Sister mentor?

Being a Big Sister is a really rewarding role. In addition to building a long term bond with your Little Sister, the other Big Sisters are a really inspirational, accomplished group of women that are all looking to make a positive difference in a young person’s life.

I’m not sure if I have the power to make the whole world a better place on my own, but I believe that SISTER2sister has helped me make a real difference for the better in one young person’s life. Imagine what a great world this would be if we could all say that!

Why should people support SISTER2sister?

Think about how tough and confusing and generally revolting being a teenager was. If you were lucky enough to grow up in a comfortable home with a family that loved and supported you, imagine how much harder it would be if you took one or more of those things away, and no one cared enough to help you when you needed it. SISTER2sister is a wonderful program that mentors young women at a time when they are often most vulnerable. Jess and Marnee provide a stable and caring foundation for a group of girls who may have never before have experienced this kind of unconditional support. The potential they see in each of these girls, year after year, is a real inspiration. The world would be a poorer place without SISTER2sister.

Big Sister Kristen

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