Big Sister Gwen and Little Brother Oliver have been matched for 3 1/2 years. Gwen feels having a mentor in life is incredibly valuable and she hopes to pass on some valuable life lessons she has learned along the way. A large reason she became a Big was to share the opportunities she has been fortunate enough to experience. Gwen’s goal has been to expose Oliver to new experiences. She and Oliver both enjoy activities that get them outside in the fresh air and that teach them new skills such as ultimate frisbee, frisbee golf or athletic events. One of Gwen’s favorite moments that comes to mind is when she and Oliver visited a horse ranch. Gwen now lives about an hour away, so instead of getting together for shorter weekly activities, they now engage in half or full day activities. Additionally, Gwen is also a Board Member for our agency. She says it’s a great way to get more involved in the community and more specifically, advance the BBBS cause and mission in Green County. Gwen states “being on the board is an immensely rewarding experience, yet is a manageable time commitment.”

Oliver is 13 years old and in 7th grade at Monroe Middle School. He says “a few of my favorite things I’ve done with Gwen so far have been going to the Packer game and riding horses, but really just hanging out with her is the best!” Oliver likes being in the BBBS program because it is cool and he gets to experience a lot of different things he wouldn’t otherwise be able to and he wouldn’t have met Gwen without it. Oliver says “Gwen is awesome, funny, nice and easy to talk to. She is really good at basketball and puzzles, too!”

Oliver’s mother Sarah explains it is just Oliver and her in their family, so she wanted him to have another adult role model he could get to know and look up to. She says it has been so rewarding to hear Oliver talk about his time with Gwen and seeing their connection. Sarah can tell Oliver really enjoys and trusts Gwen and feels Gwen enjoys Oliver too, so it is a win-win for

both the Little and the Big! Sarah says having Gwen as someone Oliver can reach out to and talk with if he needs is tremendous for his well-being. She said over the past year and a half, being in and out of school and quarantine was tough on everyone, but having that other person-Gwen- helped normalize life for him. Sarah says she would recommend the program to others. “As a Big who is thinking of volunteering, you will change a child’s life in amazing ways, and your own will be impacted in unimaginable ways. The Littles are so lucky that our community members are committed to helping and being present.”

Donors like you are critical to ensuring BBBS of Green County has the resources we need for Littles to experience mentoring like Oliver does and that our office has the operating funds needed to continue our programs and services. We can’t do it without you.

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