Christiana’s mother was excited to sign her up for BBBS after Christiana’s older siblings had positive experiences in matches of their own. When signing her up, she made it clear that wasn’t particular about her kids’ interests or hobbies, but she wanted her daughter to have a positive relationship that could help her discover new things about herself and her passions. Because Christiana is one of 6 kids living in her home, one-on-one time with an older role model can be hard to come by! Christiana is a spunky 9-year-old with a positive energy. She is intelligent, creative, and eager to learn new things, and with Ann, she has the opportunity to do just that!
Ann became interested in mentoring after reading a book called Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam. In the book, Putnam describes the widening “opportunity gap” that lower-income kids face in American society. When one of our Board Members told Ann about our program, she signed up right away. As a mother and grandmother of 6, Ann has tons of experience with kids, and she was eager to get involved to help address the systematic inequalities here in Washtenaw County.
Ann and Christiana have been matched for about a year now, and the impact these two have made on each other is inspiring! Ann always tries to take advantage of what the community of Washtenaw County has to offer, encouraging Christiana to connect to the resources around her. Together, they have taken cooking and crafting classes at the Ypsilanti Library, visited the Yankee Air Museum to learn about aviation, and attended many BBBS group activities such as pumpkin carving, kickball, and a trip to a Tigers game in Detroit. Ann always tries to expose Christiana to positive female role models, so the pair have also attended women’s basketball and volleyball games at EMU.
Ann also shared her knowledge from working in clothing and textiles with Christiana by teaching her how to sew! Now, sewing has become not only a great creative outlet for Christiana but also an opportunity for the pair to bond as friends. Last spring, Ann and Christiana redesigned their t-shirts from Ypsi PROUD – a clean-up day in the community. Because the t-shirts were a rather minimalistic design, these two creative ladies couldn’t help but jazz them up! They added a pink fabric to the collar and bottom and turned Christiana’s into a dress and Ann’s into a baby doll top. Now, they wear them to other BBBS events to show them off, building their connection with each other in the process. We always look forward to seeing Ann and Christiana in their matching designs at our events!