My Journey to Becoming a Mentor

Joanna and Lakya at their match introduction in November 2014.
Joanna and Lakya at their match introduction in November 2014.

I’ve had two main goals since graduating from college: get a job in radio broadcasting and find a long term volunteer opportunity. Well, I found a great job working as an on-air personality at a local radio station so, onward to my next goal, to find a volunteer organization that I really cared about. I was drawn to Big Brothers Big Sisters because I’ve been lucky enough to have a handful of mentors and I wanted to pay it forward and be that person for someone too.

I’ll be honest, the day I found out that I was going to be a Big was more exciting than the day I got my job. (Don’t tell my boss!) I’ve only been a Big since November, but I can say that it has been such an interesting experience! I use the word ‘interesting’ because I didn’t expect to learn so much. I also wasn’t prepared for how simple it would be. I filled out my application to be a Big with angst because I was excited to get started, but overwhelmed at the thought of not having enough time. Or not knowing what to do when my Little and I were together. Being a Big has certainly been equal parts easy and rewarding because of all the support I receive from the BBBSCI staff.

cookies and canvas
Joanna and Lakya have fun together during a Cookies & Canvas event.

Lakya is 12 years old, and just like I was at that age, she is shy and soft spoken at first, but incredibly goofy and creative once she’s comfortable. We enjoy doing anything that involves being creative: movies, art, music, theater, and playing our favorite game, “Would You Rather?” For example, “Would You Rather have a bowl of spiders dumped on your head or sleep in a bed of snakes?” Good luck choosing, because both of those are horrifying!

I am so grateful to be a part of BBBSCI and I cannot wait to see my Little grow into a super confident and creative woman!




ABOUT Joanna Ryan

Joanna is the Co-host and Producer of the KORN Morning Show on KORN Country 100.3 FM. When she’s not at work, spending time with her Little Sister, or volunteering with the Humane Society of Johnson County, you can find her at the movies, reading a comic book, or hanging with her five pets!

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