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Meet Whitney King Our 2023 Big Sister of the Year

“I became involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters because I have always believed that the future is shaped by the younger generations.”—Whitney King

In 2015, Whitney King moved home to New Jersey after living in Texas. She had experience volunteering and working with children in other capacities in the past and wanted to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters to continue her work in a new way. She hoped to get to know a child and develop a consistent relationship, so that she might make a lasting difference on a deeper level in a child’s life. 

Jeannie Torres enrolled her son, Jesias, in the Big Brother, Big Sister program so that he could flourish on his own away from the busy life at home. He is a very caring, affectionate, quiet, and observant student and was struggling a bit in school. She hoped that connecting with a “Big” through the program would afford him new opportunities and a dependable mentor and friend. 

He was matched with Whitney. She provided that, and more! 

Whitney invested time in connecting with Jesias from the very beginning. She showed interest in his pursuits and encouraged him to be the best young person he could be. Even after she moved states away, she kept her commitment as a mentor. She modeled how to pack up and move to pursue her dreams and interests without sacrificing relationships. They transitioned to virtual learning and mentoring with ease. When they get together, everything they do is engaging and age-appropriate for Jesias, combining his interests in science fiction, thrillers, and action, with educational opportunities and introductions to new interests and areas to explore. They have explored old “ghost haunts” together andJesias  discussed Steven King novels alongside discussions about life and school challenges. Whitney shows Jesias by example that he can go after his dreams and pursue his interests. Her actions demonstrate to Jesias how to reach out to others in a personal and engaging way. They have built a great rapport over the past six years and are surely bonded for life!

Jesias is now in his second year at a highly selective technical high school. He excels academically and participates in school activities in addition to helping out at home. He has learned what it’s like to have a positive role model in his own life and now models that at home with his younger siblings as a caring big brother. Whitney’s influence on his life is immeasurable and for Jesias, the future is wide open!