Big Sister Sophie and Little Sister Matida could not have come from more opposite worlds. Growing up in the Kootenays, Sophie recalls having a quiet childhood with her parents and sister. Matida, on the other hand, was born in Senegal, West Africa, and moved to Quebec at the age of 5. Her family moved around quite often, living in Saskatchewan and East Vancouver. Moving around left Matida with anything but a quiet childhood. She had troubles making friends and struggled with her math and science subjects which led to Matida’s mom seeking out assistance from Big Sisters’ Study Buddy program.
In high school, Sophie found a love for science and was excited about it, which she ultimately pursued in university. As a former Ms. Castlegar, Sophie became a mentor for the younger girls who wanted to become the next pageant winner. She found working with kids to be a passion which was perfect when she discovered Big Sisters in her university years at UBC.
When Sophie was matched with Matida, she was thrilled. However, it also came as a huge surprise when she found out Matida was starting her last year of high school. Although Sophie didn’t expect her Little to be a senior in high school, Sophie found it to be a treat since “it is such a cool time to be a part of someone’s life.”
Sophie explains that although they both come from different worlds, there are still so many things they can relate to and learn from one another. One of those things being science. Sophie recently graduated from UBC with her Bachelors of Science and has continued on to Med School. Although Matida had previously struggled with her math and science subjects, her Study Buddy relationship with Sophie changed this. She, too, will be beginning her science journey in Health Sciences at SFU this fall.
Matida says that her Big Sister supports her through her educational goals which means the world to her. An impactful memory for Matida was when Sophie was excited to go to a career information session with Matida at BCIT to explore her future career options. Matida says, “if I needed advice in anything, Sophie was always there.” The two would often walk around Queen Elizabeth park and talk about everything that was going on in their lives which they both say helped build their connection to a deeper level.
“It’s nice to have a mentee that is going through something you have gone through recently and vice versa,” says Sophie. The match proves that at any stage in life, there’s always a benefit in having a mentor.