Home Stories Little Jenna & Big Kristen: Match of the Year 2024

Little Jenna & Big Kristen: Match of the Year 2024

Little Sister Jenna & Big Sister Kristen have been matched since June 2017 and will be graduating from the BBBSCI program this May 2024!

Little Sister Jenna was eight years old when she first enrolled in the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program. She hoped to have a Big Sister who is adventurous, doesn’t slow down, and likes similar things as her. Her mother, Michelle, hoped that Jenna would get another adult role model outside of their family who could connect with Jenna on her various interests.

Big Sister Kristen knew about the BBBS program from some colleagues who are Bigs. She had previously worked with kids and thought that being a Big was a great opportunity to be a positive influence on a young person.

Jenna and Kristen were matched in June 2017 because they share common interests in reading, sports, and more feminine activities. They also share similar outgoing personalities and could connect on various topics through easy conversation. During the first meeting between Jenna, Kristen, her parents, and BBBS staff, it was decided that they would work on building Jenna’s aptitude in her social skills, positive relationships, and life skills. Initially, they planned to go geocaching together and make a popsicle stick craft jar for selecting future activities!

Throughout their seven-year mentoring relationship, Jenna and Kristen have gone putt putting, made pottery, gone to Zip City, and carved pumpkins. Kristen was also very supportive of Jenna’s participation in extracurricular activities and attended her soccer games and band concerts to cheer her on. After a while, they found some traditions that they loved to do together – one of which was to go to the Pizza King Station on the Southside! Jenna loved both their pizza and taking their drinks off the train when it came by.

Jenna continued to excel in school and find her passion in science and engineering. She participated in robotics in high school and noticed some of the inequities for women in STEM – leading her to join the Women in STEM club at her school and eventually become President of the club. Kristen continued to support Jenna in her endeavors throughout her growth and development by showing up and keeping up with her activities even after Kristen moved to Bloomington partway through their mentoring relationship.

Jenna will be graduating from high school soon and was accepted into every college/university to which she applied! She’ll be making her final decision on where she plans to attend college but is sure that she’ll major in Engineering wherever she goes.

Congratulations to both Jenna and Kristen for building a strong and impactful relationship during their seven years matched together!

Watch the video above to hear more from Jenna and Kristen.