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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Big Brothers Big Sisters: Robin, Autumn always there for each other

Just one year ago, Big Sister Robin was in the midst of a career transition from finance to education and looking to get more involved in her community.

Today, she has gained a new friend in the form of her 11-year-old Little Sister, Autumn, and is enjoying the experience of seeing the world through the eyes of a young person. ...

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Just one year ago, Big Sister Robin was in the midst of a career transition from finance to education and looking to get more involved in her community.

Today, she has gained a new friend in the form of her 11-year-old Little Sister, Autumn, and is enjoying the experience of seeing the world through the eyes of a young person.

Robin and Autumn were introduced through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua & Greater Salem in March. Since then, the two have formed an easy friendship that has taken them from ice skating and swimming at local spots to a recent trip to Canobie Lake Park, and soon an upcoming One Direction concert.

Autumn describes being a Little Sister as “fun, exciting, awesome and funny.” She’s excited about the concert, but describes her recent trip to Canobie Lake Park with Robin as her favorite activity so far because they got to spend the whole day together.

“Having a Big is special because it gives you someone to talk to when you are sad, mad and happy,” Autumn said. “They help with problems, and they are always there for you.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Nashua & Greater Salem matches children in southern New Hampshire from 6-17 years old with volunteer mentors. Matches meet a couple times a month for outings and activities.

Robin, who plans to start a new career as a high school math teacher this fall, said she enjoys being a mentor because it gives her the opportunity to develop a relationship with a child and affect her life in a different way than she can in the classroom. She describes their friendship as trusting and supportive.

“My favorite things about Autumn are that she always has a smile, she’s happy and she has lots of energy,” Robin said. “She’s also very positive and resilient in dealing with life’s challenges.”

Robin considers her relationship with Autumn to be an important part of her life and never wants to let Autumn down, so she makes time with her a priority, despite her busy schedule.

“I’ve already started trying to get several friends involved as Bigs,” Robin said. “It benefits the volunteers just as much as the Littles.”

Being a Big is also a big responsibility, Robin said, adding that she has to be creative to think of ideas, attentive to safety when with Autumn and trustworthy, since she never wants to let her Little down.

“At the end of the day, it’s just a really valuable program,” Robin said. “Society needs these children not to get lost, and Big Brothers Big Sisters can play a big part and benefit all of us down the line in supporting children.”