Lesley is BBBSWR’s Mentor of the Month for February! “I come from a family of people that have always given back to the community”, says Lesley–retired Royal Bank of Canada associate; current Nutrition for Learning Breakfast Program volunteer, President of St. Andrew Terrace Family Counsel and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region volunteer.
Starting her volunteer career with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Chatham, Lesley moved back to Cambridge and continued her volunteer efforts. Lesley has now been involved with the BBBS movement for 30 years.
Currently, at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region, she is an In-School Mentor at Stewart Avenue Public School. In-School Mentoring provides elementary students who could benefit from extra emotional, social, or academic support with a caring mentor. In-School Mentors meet with their mentees for one hour per week during the school day.
Her days of volunteering are filled with giving her Mentees a more positive outlook by bringing in crafts, playing sports and talking about life experiences.
To Lesley, being a mentor is all about “try[ing] to instill good values that will help them [Mentees] in the future, not only in school but in life.”
Contributing to and being an active member of the community is an important value in Lesley’s life. She feels that “by instilling the values of volunteerism and fostering it, it will help the next generation.”
“If you want your community to grow and the citizens in that community to be to be good citizens, you need to foster the idea of volunteerism; help get people involved and make the community better. Help those who need help.”
A former Mentee of Lesley’s expressed to Lesley at the end of their match that she “became a strong young woman with morals and principles” due to the experience she had with Lesley, making her an ideal Mentor of the Month.
Volunteering does not only leave a lasting impression on the Mentee but also on the mentor. In Lesley’s eyes, “you get a lot back, you get to see them grow and become more confident and positive.”
To anyone who’s interested in volunteering with the In-School Mentoring Program, it’s good to know that “it’s not a big time commitment and you get more out of it than you necessarily give.”
“If a whole lot of a people gave a little time, it’s amazing what things you could foster.”-Lesley L. BBBSWR ISM Volunteer