In Her Own Words
At our annual Start Something Big Breakfast on Tuesday, October 11, Little Sister Claudia shared how her involvement in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Young Women's Leadership Project has made a positive impact in her life...
Good morning ladies and gentlemen, my name is
Claudia. I’m 13 and an 8th grader at Thomas Harrison Middle School.
I would like to share with you about how
being a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Young Women’s Leadership Project
has changed me for the better.
I joined Young Women’s Leadership last year,
when I was in seventh grade. I was also matched with my Big Sister, Coral. I’ll
talk more about her later.
Through Young Women’s Leadership, we did
activities about positive self-confidence, exploring careers, healthy
relationships, being safe online, and setting goals for ourselves. We also took field trips to Camp Horizons, Young
Women’s Leadership Conference, and JMU.
We talked about school and talked about our
lives outside of school. We learned that many of us share the same challenges
and feelings. We made new friendships and learned how important it is to build
each other up instead of break each other down.
We learned that we have the power to change
the way we talk to ourselves in our heads and that staying positive makes a big
Before being involved in the Young Women’s
Leadership Project, I was very shy and my confidence was low. I usually had one
or two friends and wasn’t involved in activities outside of school.
Young Women’s Leadership has helped make me
more outgoing and has helped me believe in myself. Before last year, there is
no way that I would have gotten up to speak in front of a group this big!
This past summer, I was invited to
participate in two different youth camps through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
My first camp was at JMU and part of the
Young Women’s Leadership Project. We stayed in the dorms, ate at the dining
hall, worked on digital projects, and got to experience what it was like to be
on a college campus.
My second camp was at Camp Horizons. I stayed
for a week and did so many fun things like kayaking, ropes course, mountain
biking, swimming, zip-lining, and acting classes. I even won an award for being
the best actor – not bad for someone who used to be shy like me.
Through Big Brothers Big Sisters, I was also
matched with my Big Sister Coral. Being matched with Coral has been amazing.
She’s outgoing, creative, fun, confident, and positive.
Some of my favorite experiences with her have
been making crafts, baking together, getting ice cream, and going out for pizza.
Even though we are not related by blood, I
think of Coral just like a real sister. I am looking forward to many more fun
filled times with her.
Someday, I hope to go to college like Coral
and maybe explore the creative side of me that Young Women’s Leadership has
helped me get to know.
This year looks a whole lot different for me
than it could have looked. Instead of that shy girl with one or two friends
sitting home doing who knows what after school, I will be very busy.
I will be trying out for Cheerleading this
fall. I am hoping to continue in a new 8th grade young women’s group.
I have also signed up to be a Student Ambassador to welcome new students to the
school and help them have an easier time making friends.
These opportunities through Young Women’s
Leadership and Big Brothers Big Sisters have been very memorable for me.
I have opened my circle of friends. I have
learned more about myself and who I want to become… and I have someone I look
up to in Coral to help me along the way.
Thank you for your support of the Young
Women’s Leadership Project and Big Brothers Big Sisters. It has made such a big
difference for me.