Former Little Eboni wanted to give back to the organization that made her dreams a reality. Being awarded The Centennial Scholarship through Big Brothers Big Sisters, she was able to attend Appleby College, a private school in Oakville. Without going to Appleby College, Eboni feels she wouldn’t be the person who she is today. After being in the one-to-one program from ages 14-18, Eboni learned about The Cultural Mentorship program through a high school friend. From there she was introduced the PAL program where she was matched with her mentee, Aaliyah.
Eboni would describes being a Big as a positive influence in her life. Together Big Eboni and Little Aaliyah enjoy playing games together on Zoom and diving deep into healthy conversations about Black history and culture. Eboni and Aaliyah enjoy doing activities planned through the Cultural Mentorship program, but do other extracurriculars such as cooking, playing games like Scateggories, Netflix Party, and making turmeric or honey face masks.
Eboni was very excited when she was first matched with Aaliyah. She felt it was a new opportunity and responsibility to guard and nurture her. Eboni describes her experience as a mentor to be very rewarding, she feels fulfilled giving back to little girls in the community. She hopes to pass on the knowledge she has to her mentee so Aaliyah can pass that on to someone else in the future.
Eboni and Aaliyah have been matched for one-and-a-half years. Eboni feels as if she has a true friendship with Aaliyah. She calls it a balanced relationship, just as much Aaliyah learns from her, she learns from Aaliyah. She would describe Aaliyah as strong, hardworking, with a great sense of humour.
Eboni balances volunteering with her other commitments because she believes it is a priority – She puts it on the same level as employment. She describes the reward far more than the income of employment. Eboni feels as if her volunteering has come to a full circle effect – She started as a Little as a child, and now gets to be a Big and change someone else’s life. Her advice for anyone thinking of volunteering is “Your heart must be in it. It is not an instant reward; you see the benefits as the relationship starts to bloom.”