Gill & Cailey
Public Relations Placement Student, Rachel McLean, wrote the following about Big Sister, Gill and Little Sister, Cailey.
In September 2012, through the In-School Mentoring Program at Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham (BBBSND), Gill was matched with Cailey, a happy young girl just beginning the seventh grade. Cailey was smart, popular, doing well in school, and not at all the type of child one might consider to be in need of a mentor. But Gill quickly learned that even the happiest of children could always benefit from a little extra attention from a positive role model. She also learned that mentoring can go both ways, and describes Cailey as a great role model herself, always bringing positivity into any situation.
“Her smile lights up a room. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her without a smile. Her positive energy is contagious,” says Gill, who spends as much time as she can with the equally busy Cailey. Both girls are students, Cailey now in Grade 9 and Gill in post-secondary school, meaning their time together is limited. But when they do get time together about once a month, they make the most of it. “We rarely do the same thing. I’ve taught her how to ski and snowboard, we’ve gone mini-putting, to the movies, checked out unique restaurants, and had some girls’ nights.” Cailey says her favourite activity they did together was when they drove race cars at Mosport last year. Her younger brother, Bryce sometimes joins them, “we’re like a trio, the 3 of us,” says Cailey, “she’s actually like my sister.”
Since Cailey and Bryce live with their grandparents, they have both benefited a lot from having Gill around. Having a strong female role model in her life has helped her to continue along the positive path she’s on, which can be difficult for some girls when entering high school for the first time. “I’ve gotten to see her grow as a person,” says Gill, smiling. “When I met her, she was confident, she worked hard in school and she was happy and she has just continued to be on that path. How can you not want to spend time with a person like that?” Cailey agrees that she’s changed a bit as a person adding “since meeting Gill for the first time, I’m more happy and more talkative.” When Cailey was asked if Gill had changed at all since the beginning, Cailey claims “she’s still the same old Gill, but more funny, smarter, and always having fun.”
Gill grew up with an older brother and a twin sister and says that Big Brothers Big Sisters was an obvious choice when she decided how she was going to give back to her community. “I grew up with a really good life and I wanted to make sure I could give something back,” she explains.
“If you want to have a positive influence on someone or bring joy to someone’s life, this is the thing to do. Mentoring is something you can do regularly, so you get to see the influence you have on them and you can see them grow up.”
If you're interested in learning more information about our mentoring programs, please call Cheryl Holmes at 905-985-3733 ext 2.