Big Sister Randi finds friendship and sisterhood with Little Sister Madi

“She was loving, kind, and caring – a tiny package of love.” Randi, Big Sister.

Randi was exploring volunteering opportunities before being matched with her Little Sister, Madi. She had recently moved to Vancouver from Alberta and was excited by the prospect of mentoring, having been a part of the Go Girls! Healthy Bodies Healthy Minds group mentorship program as a teenager.

“I was twenty-one years old, had recently moved to the city, and was starting out in a new career. It was such an exciting time, and I had a lot of energy and enthusiasm that I wanted to channel towards something positive. I was a bit nervous about the time commitment, but the matching process was a lot of fun, and once I got started, that first year went by so fast. It’s hard to believe it’s now been 12 years since we were first matched!”

Friendship and sisterhood

After an initial interview and a review of Randi’s interests and preferences, a personal meeting was arranged with Madi. “The Big Sisters team checked in with me at each stage to make sure I was comfortable and told me all about Madi’s background and family.”

It was during this meeting that Randi knew she had made the right choice. “Madi had just turned nine years old when we were matched. She was the tiniest little peanut! She was quite shy but had a very mature sense of humor. She was loving, kind, and caring – a tiny package of love.”

In the beginning, Madi was like a sponge, wide-eyed and ready to absorb all of the information she could. Randi continued, “She was very open to the opportunity of friendship and sisterhood. She really just wanted to spend time with me and hang out, she liked to just do regular things.”

Randi and Madi started out with simple activities before getting involved with some of Big Sisters’ activities. “We did a lot of baking and crafts to start. Big Sisters does events and activities that opened us up to experiences we wouldn’t have tried otherwise, like horseback riding, snowboarding, and kayaking. It’s just so cute looking back. I had to hold her hand in public or give her a piggyback at the end of a day out together. She was so small and would just fall asleep on the way home.”

A connection that goes full circle

Twelve years on from their initial match, Randi and Madi remain as close and connected as ever. Madi is now part of the Bright Futures Education Funds (BFEF) scholarship program, and Randi reflects on how things have gone full circle as Madi enters the world as a twenty-one-year-old adult.

“The whole experience has had a huge impact on my life. We have both gone through so many twists and turns, but we have always had that mutual bond. I’m so grateful to have had such a positive and consistent connection. It really has been just as healthy and needed for me as it has been for Madi.”

Thank you, Randi, you truly are a shining example of the positive impact of mentorship.