Matched with Big Sister Richelle at 11 years old, Susan was a very shy and soft-spoken young girl. She was afraid to speak her mind, and her confidence was at an all-time low.
“I was a bigger kid, my brother would say I was fat, ugly, and not good enough and I believed that. Because if you don’t have anyone else to tell you the contrary that’s all you believe,” says Susan.
Richelle came into Susan’s life at the right time. Meeting on a weekly basis really helped Susan with her confidence, as she finally had someone in her life who would fill her life with positivity.
Richelle recounts her time spent with Susan, “it was nice to go and take her away, to take her out of there for the day and have a good experience.”
“I didn’t have anybody in my life at the time,” Susan adds, “[and] she treated me like her equal.”
Little did both these women know, the bond that would result between them would last a lifetime. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, though, as Susan still had to warm up to this new figure in her life.
“She was this painfully shy girl, she would not make eye contact, not smile, not say two words,” says Richelle.
Throughout her mentorship with Richelle, Susan began to open up and be more outspoken. She was finally becoming more confident and surer of herself.
“She really built me up and clearly now I’m not shy at all and I’m not soft spoken and that was my catalyst to my growth as a person, ” says Susan.
Although their match ended 25 years ago, they still keep in touch and consider each other family. They reunited in late 2016 and shared their thoughts on how mentoring had impacted their lives.
“If I had some advice for the Littles of tomorrow, it would be to grab this opportunity. It will change your life. You’ll have somebody that you can have fun with, that you can ask questions, somebody that has no agenda, will love you because you’re you and not because they have to and that’s huge”, says Susan.
Mentoring matters and this is only one story that has captured hearts.