Ana Leon (right), with her 'Little Sister,' Sally (left), has been named the state's Big Sister of the Year. Photo courtesy Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.
The best big sister in the state lives in Brookline.
Ana Leon, who lives in Brookline, has been named the 2013 Massachusetts Big Sister of the Year and will now be considered for the title of National Big Sister of the Year, according to the Big Sister Association of Boston.
The volunteer-supported mentoring organization said in a press release Thursday that a panel of judges from across the state selected Leon because of her dedication and service to her Little Sister, Sally, and the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston.
If Leon wins the national award, she and Sally, who is 18 and lives in Boston, will visit the White House to meet President Barack Obama and travel to Colorado in June to be honored at a national conference.
The Big Sister Association of Boston pairs girls, or “little sisters,” with volunteer mentors, or “big sisters,” and to win the Massachusetts Big Sister of the Year award the honorees must be actively helping their little sister’s set goals for the future and helping them improve their confidence and relationships with family and peers.
Leon and Sally have been matched together for six years, and Heidi Ziobro, vice president of programs for Big Sister Association of Greater Boston stated in the press release that Leon is always available to her little sister.
“She serves on Big Sister’s Diversity Council to engage more women of color as Big Sisters, she regularly attends fundraising events, and her commitment to her Little Sister has been unwavering,” Ziobro said.
Leon said she has learned that she can help instill confidence in someone.
“It does take energy and sometimes it takes more than just having a conversation, but knowing that a young person takes on more challenges because of my encouragement is very powerful to me,” Leon said in the press release.