Becoming a mentor changed my life


I grew up with people encouraging me every step of the way and always supporting me in everything I do. I had multiple mentors in my life that I could rely on to give me advice and show up in every stage of my life. It is this concept that made me want to do the same for someone in my life.

I became a big sister to a teenager last October after joining the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tri-State family. It took about a month to go through the process of applying, training and finally choosing who I thought would be a good fit to be matched to my little sister Kassidi.

I was extremely nervous when I went to meet her and her mom at their house, but I was immediately greeted with excitement and several animals begging for attention.

I’m an extremely sassy person, which pairs nicely with Kassidi’s sassy teenage attitude and who is not afraid to be honest with me, especially when I start to embarrass her.

On our first outing, Kassidi and I went to Pottery Place and awkwardly painted in silence for the most part, but now she comes over to my house and we get competitive over board games, and she complains of my horrible dancing when we go bowling.

I have not only seen a change in confidence in Kassidi, but I have seen a change in myself. She has made me think about my choices but has also allowed me to be more fun and be more of myself.

I am a full-time student and work two jobs while also being involved in my church and campus ministry. At first, I thought I would not have enough time to hang out with her, but it is not as difficult as I thought. She is almost always available when I am and is willing to do almost anything I suggest.

Think back to the mentors you had or have; wouldn’t you want others to experience that? Become a big brother or big sister to one of the kids on a waiting list of over 70 children by contacting Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tri-State at 304-522-2191 or

Heather Barker can be contacted at [email protected]