January 28, 2022

Marie and her mentor, Hailey, bond over sisterhood 

Marie* is eight years old and was paired with her professional mentor, Hailey, two and a half years ago. Since the pandemic began, Marie’s outings have taken place at home: either over the phone, on the computer, or in the backyard. These close-to-home outings have made it possible for Hailey to stay connected with Marie during the pandemic. They have also allowed Hailey to spend more time with Marie’s family members. Hailey’s partnership with Marie’s family has grown even stronger during this time.

Marie has a little sister, Jessica*, who always wants to be included in their activities. Marie loves her little sister, but she can get frustrated with her easily. Luckily, Hailey is a big sister, too, so she can relate to Marie’s struggle to get along. In fact, Hailey and her sister have the same age difference as Marie and Jessica. One day last summer, Hailey and Marie were making lava lamps in the backyard, and Jessica decided she wanted to make one, too. Marie started to get annoyed and complained that her sister was in her business and messing everything up. When Jessica went back inside the house, Hailey took a moment to connect with Marie. 

Hailey said, “now that my sister and I are older, my sister has told me how she felt when we were younger. She said that I seemed so much wiser, and she just wanted to be like me. I was her role model. Maybe, your sister looks up to you and just loves you so much that she wants to be like you.”  

It took her a minute to process, but finally, Marie’s face lit up and she said, “she does love me a lot!” When her sister came back, Marie not only allowed her to participate in the activity; she also helped her learn how to make the lava lamp. Hailey was thrilled to see Marie taking her advice to heart right away and, in turn, becoming a mentor to her younger sister. 

“I think back on our core assets and see how Marie showed growth mindset, self-management, and problem solving to grow closer to her sister and have more self-awareness. I am so proud,” said Hailey. These social-emotional skills will empower Marie to build strong relationships with other important people in her life.

*Name changed to protect youth’s privacy.