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Mentorship program provides girls with older role models

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Sister to Sister meets at lunch for the big reveal of big and little sisters, Oct 25.

Since 2004, high school and junior high girls gather for the mentoring program called Sister to Sister. This idea started as a peer counseling class when teacher Molly Sargent noticed the difficulties that many junior high girls faced. Her intentions for starting this program was to provide the junior high girls with an older role model and for the high school girls to learn life and communication skills.

As the years have progressed, Sister to Sister continues to increase in number. With the first year consisting of only nine high schoolers, this year Sister to Sister gained 42 older sisters.

First year participant, Hannah VanNoy, ‘21, explains her motive for this upcoming year and what she admires about her little sisters.

“I thought it would be fun to pour into the younger girls, “VanNoy said. “It’s just a great opportunity to learn from them and to teach them. This year, I want to grow in my faith and help the younger girls grow in their faith with me. My little sisters are Zoe Bull and Summer Foshee. They’re both really nice and they’re best friends. They have really sweet personalities.”

The big revealing took place at lunchtime, Oct. 25. Big sisters gathered with blankets and wrapping paper to cover themselves with and customize name tags for their little sister. As the big sisters split into two rooms, the little sisters anxiously await outside ready to rush in and find their name.

Megan LeBlanc talks to Hope Villines about the Sister to Sister program in the following podcast.

Cheerleading coach and P.E. teacher, Hope Villines, steps up this year as the new advisor over Sister to Sister. She expresses her excitement for becoming the advisor and her reaction to the little sisters meeting their big sister.

“I have a huge passion for older students and girls pouring into younger girls,” Villines said. “When I found out that I could have to opportunity to do this I jumped at it because it means so much to me. I seriously wanted to cry actually, I had tears in my eyes because those junior high girls were so excited for so many weeks and none of them were disappointed.

“To see their little faces when they came in and they tore that blanket off or ripped open the wrapping paper was amazing,” Villines continued. “Every big sister gave an amazing reaction and hugged them and I think they felt very loved and very special.”

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Kayden Marquez, ’20, (left) and Ainsley Thompson, ’22, eat lunch and bond at Sister to Sister, Oct. 25.

Sister to Sister welcomes any junior high girl that wants to participate in the program but not every high school girl volunteers as a mentor. While first semester freshmen are not equipped yet to be an older sister, sophomore, junior and senior girls pair up with their younger peers.

Senior Macie Thompson talks about her experiences from Sister to Sister and is disappointed that this year is her last.

“I have been doing Sister to Sister for three years in high school and I was a younger sister for both of my junior high years,” Thompson said. “I joined Sister to Sister because I love that we get the chance to pour into a younger girl who is growing up and finding her way. We get to lead them and challenge them to live a life for Christ and to serve Him with everything they have. I am sad that this is my last year being a part of this club, but I am also excited for what God has in store for this year.”

Geared toward junior high and high school girls, Sister to Sister furthers the development of biblical and communicational knowledge. Founder Molly Sargent worked as an English and Bible teacher at Fresno Christian but currently works at Kerman High School teaching English to sophomores and juniors.

Organized by junior high science and Bible teacher Terry Richards, boys participate in their own mentoring class called Brother to Brother. The next Sister to Sister and Brother to Brother event will take place Nov. 13 for off campus lunch.

For more articles read 2018 volleyball season comes to a close and Sadies 2018: California’s Great America.

Megan LeBlanc can be reached via Twitter and via email.

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