Deb Reinhert & Big Sisters
Describe your project.
Gathering for Girls is a movement to inspire and motivate women to take action in their communities by serving as mentors for young girls. Current mentors (Big Sisters) will invite friends to dinner and use the time to demonstrate the beauty and impact that mentoring can have in the life of a girl. Each mentor will use her personal story to awaken a sense of service that inspires her guests to take action towards social justice by giving girls a chance to live to their full potential.
Big Sisters know that inspiring a young girl, believing in her, empowering her to believe in herself, has the chance to transform not only that one girl’s life, but also to transform an entire community of people. Inspiration is contagious.
Big Sisters will educate their friends on the power of mentorship.
- 88.4% of girls (Little Sisters) matched with Big Sisters finish High School.
- 88.6% of girls matched with Big Sisters go to college.
- 99.2% of girls matched with Big Sisters express avoidance of risky behaviors such as drug and tobacco use.
- 94.4% of girls matched with Big Sisters express improved relationships with adults in their lives.
How will you use the grant to make your idea happen?
The grant will be used to supply the food for the meals shared between Big Sisters and their networks. Big Sisters who host dinners will have the option of using the money to develop photos or create a scrapbook that demonstrates the relationship they have built with their Little Sister. These materials will be used to exemplify the importance of sisterhood and the impact of mentorship.
We hope to give 20 Big Sisters $50 each to buy the food and materials to host a Gathering for Girls. Our goal will be to inspire 10 women at each Gathering for Girls to become a mentor, allowing us to match 200 girls with Big Sisters.
Why and to whom is your project important?
Our project is important to the 500 girls in Boston’s neighborhoods who are waiting to be matched to a Big Sister and have been waiting for 6 months to a year. Our longest-waiting Little Sisters come from Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury.
- 72% of our Little Sisters come from Boston:
- 23% come from Dorchester.
- Another 23% come from Roxbury.
Little Sisters come from a wide-range of ethnic, socio-economic, and family backgrounds. However, our typical Little Sister is 12 years old, living with a single mother in Dorchester or Roxbury and is black or Hispanic.
This project is important because finding the mentors for these 500 girls will ensure that each of them has the support and encouragement to live up to her full potential, whatever that happens to be. With the love and support of a Big Sister, each of these 500 girls will learn how to speak up for herself, will have the opportunity to try new experiences, build understanding and respect across differences, and join a sisterhood of strong, supportive women. Little Sisters, supported by their Big Sisters, develop confidence, courage, and competence to learn, live, and thrive in Greater Boston.