Desiree and I have been matched for almost 8-years. She is smart, kind, and adventurous. Desiree is not afraid of a challenge, and she strives to grow intellectually through school and outside activities.  My Little Sister is absolutely one of a kind!

My name is Desiree, I am a Little Sister and a Junior in High School, and I am a huge advocate for finding ways to get involved in your community. I’ve played tenor saxophone in band for the last four years and I volunteer at my local elementary school. Last year I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and find a new way to get involved, so I signed up for my school’s robotics team. 

I was nervous when I first joined the robotics team. I wasn’t comfortable around power tools, but my team was supportive, and they taught me how to use each one. Because the work is so cooperative, my communication skills got better too. We worked hard, really hard in fact, and our team went on to win State and make it all the way to Worlds! We flew to Dallas to compete and had a great time on the trip. Although we didn’t win, I’m proud of how far we made it. I’m especially proud considering that on our team of 13, it was the first year on the robotics team for 12 of us. And our veteran teammate had only been on the team for one year longer! 

Being a young person today is both scary and exciting at the same time. We’re living in a moment that’s going to be in the history books. It’s scary that my school has security guards and metal detectors because school shootings are a real problem. But when I look at the amazing things that young people are doing today, I feel so much hope for the future. There are 16-year-olds setting up businesses online, and young, talented artists finding platforms on social media. We have the freedom to express ourselves, and resources through the internet that make me feel like we can do anything. 

There are a lot of day-to-day challenges too. The cost of living is continuing to rise, which is putting a strain on a lot of families. As a young person, there’s a lot of stress to have your future decided at a young age. And while there’s less stigma, it can still be hard to talk about mental health. 

That’s one reason why I think it’s important to get involved. Instead of going straight home after school, I got involved and have been able to build a community. I have people I can talk to and hang out with, people who feel like family. Having a community to rely on makes a big difference when you are struggling and need a friend. 

My Big Sister is another important part of my community. We’ve been matched for 7-years, and I feel really lucky to have her in my life. She actively searches for opportunities to do things I’m interested in. She took me to tour a forensic science lab because I’m interested in biomed. She took me to try German food because I’m studying German. She knows I’m interested in volunteering so she’s always looking for ways to get involved in the community. And we still have time to do fun, crazy stuff like going ziplining! 

While those big activities are fun, some of my favorite memories with my Big Sister are of walks that we’ve taken on the trail by my house. It might seem small, but it’s a comfortable, safe space to talk about whatever is going on in our lives. Sometimes we don’t even talk. 

We can all make the world a better place. You never know how much your kind action can make a difference in someone’s life. You can start a ripple effect that carries a positive impact way past what you can see. Think about how you want to make the world a better place, then go get involved! You can make an impact. 

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