Last Thursday night, Gloucester's Talia Doucette, and Lynn's Leilanni Guzman, went to their first Boston Red Sox, game but it wasn't just any game.
Doucette, 24, and Guzman, 13, who are both part of the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, met second baseman Dustin Pedroia, and read the Red Sox starting line up on NESN as part of the organization's "Mentoring Night." The program is an annual event that the Red Sox and Mass Mentoring Partnership put together.
The Big Sister Association provides girls facing adversity, often those of single or low-income households or families, with mentoring relationships. Doucette, who is Guzman's "Big Sister," has been mentoring the Lynn resident for about nine months.
“When my Big Sister told me we were going to be on TV I screamed," Guzman said. "Meeting Dustin Pedroia was my favorite part of the night. This was the best first Red Sox game ever.”
What was most gratifying for Doucette, was seeing how important the event was to her "Little Sister," she said.
“At the end of the night, Leilani looked at me, smiling, and just said a simple, quiet, 'Thank you,'" Doucette said. "It spoke volumes, and it reminded me why I joined Big Sister in the first place. I wanted to be there for a girl and do little things to help her learn, make her smile, grow her confidence, and share experiences with her that she will remember for years to come."
Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, the nation’s largest and only donor and volunteer supported mentoring organization in the Big Brothers Big Sisters network exclusively serving girls.
Partnering with parents/guardians, schools, corporations and others in the community, Big Sister carefully pairs girls (Little Sisters) with screened volunteer mentors (Big Sisters) and monitors and supports the one-on-one mentoring matches throughout their course.
The program aims to create, positive academic, socio-emotional and behavioral outcomes for youth, areas linked to high school graduation, avoidance of juvenile delinquency and college or job readiness.