Cassie has been matched with her Big Sister, Nancy, for over 6 ½ years. From the start, Nancy’s approach as Cassie’s mentor has been very intentional – she has made it her mission to help build Cassie’s confidence and empower her to realize her potential. Nancy openly shares her own experience growing up in poverty to demonstrate to Cassie that it is absolutely possible to shape her own future.
Early in their relationship, Nancy sent a note to Aurora (Program Director for BBBS of Bath/Brunswick): “Cassie is smart and watchful; she notices everything and she asks questions. She’s also a worrier who is hesitant of new experiences. I like to think I’m creating a space for her to take healthy risks and ask questions. I feel honored to be a part her life right now, to build a relationship with her at this critical time. Thank you for your excellent work in putting together a good match for us. ”
Cassie and Nancy have met almost weekly for the entirety of their seven year mentoring relationship. From cooking nutritious meals and making homemade Christmas gifts for Cassie’s family and friends, to attending various Women’s Marches and talking extensively about current events, the match relationship has helped Cassie develop numerous valuable skills, expand her perspectives and develop a strong, independent outlook.
Cassie is a senior this year and plans to go to college for journalism and media studies, an interest that Nancy supported by helping her enroll in a teen writing program with Maine Public Radio last summer. Nancy drove Cassie to Portland every day for two weeks to attend the workshop, and was present to support Cassie at the program’s closing reception. Nancy has taken Cassie on several college tours, including visits to SMCC, USM, Husson and Presque Isle.
Recently Cassie was excited to share that she had received her first college acceptance letter! Cassie will also be the recipient of a Pell grant and other scholarships that will make it possible to pursue her degree at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Cassie shared: “Nancy has supported me every step of the way!”