“We’re really not big planners,” laughs Samantha. “Whenever we get together we love to just go with the flow and see where the day takes us.”
“It’s true,” continues Cassandra. “Sometimes we’ll plan on doing a specific activity, but most of the time we end up doing something completely different.
“One of our favourite things to do together is play “tourist” in our own city,” says Samantha. We like to visit local attractions, taking the Big Bus tour downtown, and visiting the aquarium. I think we’re looking at the zoo next.”
“And we should definitely go ice skating again!” chimes in Cassandra.
“Can you tell that we’re spontaneous?” laughs Samantha.
Both Big and Little Sister continue laughing as they recall one of their more “adventuresome” outings.
“There was this one time that we decided to make giant cupcakes,” says Cassandra. “We couldn’t decide how many cake mixes to use! We ended up overfilling the pan, so the top cooked, the middle was mush, the bottom just burned to the pan.”
“It was a bit of a disaster,” continues Samantha. “Our Christmas cookie efforts were much more successful!”
When asked about one thing that she has learned from her Big Sister, Cassandra doesn’t miss a beat and replies, “the importance of reading the directions!”
The duo are also excited to talk about the different goals they have taken on as a team.
“We’re definitely always working on a couple of things,” says Samantha. “We both love animals, and are thinking about volunteering with the SPCA as dog walkers.”
“We’re also trying to quit biting our nails,” says Cassandra, as she points to her Big Sister’s hands. “Mine used to be really long, but then I started playing basketball which has definitely made it harder to stop.”
“We both have come up with different things that work,” offers Samantha. “Cassandra has all of these cool nail polish colours, and I use false nails. We’ve both had successes, and a few setbacks, but we’re going to kick this habit together.”
For Samantha, the opportunity to be involved with Big Sisters represents the fulfillment of a different goal.
“I found out about the organization through my then employer. It was something that I wanted to get involved with, and as soon as I had the time to commit to the program, I applied. The whole experience has completely exceeded my expectations.”
For Little Sister Cassandra, she first became involved with Big Sisters in the third grade, after her counsellor recommended her to the program. After her first Big Sister went back to school, she had to wait almost three years to be matched with Samantha.
“But it has totally been worth the wait!” she says.
“I would say the same thing,” agrees Samantha. “Cassandra is one of my favourite people to be around. She’s so smart and bubbly. It’s hard to remember that when I first met her she was so quiet and shy. There have been moments where it has really clicked just how much of an impact I have in this little girl’s life. Knowing that she is here, observing and learning always pushes me to be better, I want her to really know that the sky’s the limit. Over the years, I’m so proud to see the woman she is becoming and feel blessed to have been a part of it.”
“Life without Samantha would be so boring!” finishes Cassandra. “I look forward to seeing her every week. There are times when she is the only person I feel comfortable talking with. Having a Big Sister is so important. It’s like a place you to get a way to and feel comfortable.”
And have an adventure.