“When I am with my Big, I feel safe and loved. I never have to think twice about whether she will give up on me because I know she will always be there. I know my Big Sister is only a text or call away when I need her. She always pushes me to try my best, and I hope after everything that she has taught me, that I will make her proud” – Little Sister Dominique
Big Sister Staci and Little Sister Dominique are a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland & Salem Counties match that recently celebrated their 8-year match anniversary, thanks to the funding by the Cumberland County Human Services Advisory Council. The two were introduced in school when Dominique entered Staci’s first-grade class as a student. As the school year progressed, Staci saw Dominique struggling and wanted to offer help beyond the classroom, so when Dominique enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based mentoring program, Staci decided this was her opportunity to make a difference. Staci volunteered to be Dominique’s Big Sister.
Staci and Dominique began their relationship meeting once a week for lunch or to just play a board game or with dolls. As their connection grew, they decided to spend more time together through the School-Based “Plus” program. They were able to make new, fun memories together–going to the movies, enjoying Easter egg hunts, and trips to the zoo!
Each day their relationship grew closer and they knew they’d be “sisters for life.” As the years went on, Staci and Dominique battled through the ups and downs of middle school, connecting over trips to the beach, swim lessons in Staci’s pool, dinners with Staci’s family, and always working through any academic challenges that arose.
Staci has taught Dominique to always be kind to herself and others, to get involved in school clubs and activities, and to make better choices even when life is tough. She taught Dominique to celebrate her uniqueness and know that she can count on Staci for guidance and support now and in years to come.
Staci’s mentorship efforts were recently recognized and honored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as the 2021 Big Sister of the Year for the state of New Jersey. Congratulations, Staci!
“Life as a Big Sister and Little Sister duo is amazing, and I think my Little would agree.” Dominique is a 9th-grade honor roll student with hopes and dreams of being a surgeon and owning her own house someday. As for me, I have a little sister, and my son has a big sister for life. We are family and that’s all because of Big Brothers Big Sisters” – Big Sister Staci