Maya recalls Erika being more anxious and was being bullied at school. Since our match Erika has won student awards, sung in front of all the students at assembly, her attendance at school has improved and the bullying has ceased.
Erika was referred to Big Brothers Big Sisters by a doctor at her health centre. She was suffering from anxiety, ADHD and a blood disorder.Her mother, a single parent with no family in Australia knew Erika needed more support and said, of Maja “Erika has a special and amazing friend that is steady and caring. I was hoping for the right person and we got her!”
Erika is 12 and in Year 6. She says before she met Maja a year ago “… I felt lonely, sad, like I really couldn’t be any emptier. I thought Big Brothers Big Sisters wouldn’t make any difference, but it smashed my expectations.”
Erika and Maja visited the Sydney Laser Show together, they saw Aladdin and met the cast, but Erika’s highlight of her time with Maja was when they “went for a de-stressing walk along the beach.”
Maja says, “We enjoy spending time and hanging out. Just being ourselves. Sometimes having fun and other times being serious, talking about life and feelings.To me being a Big is about being a mentor, a friend and having fun along the way. Each time we meet I become more proud of her accomplishments, courage to be herself and follow her heart.”
... I felt lonely, sad, like I really couldn’t be any emptier. I thought Big Brothers Big Sisters wouldn’t make any difference, but it smashed my expectations.
- Erika (Mentee)