Stefanie Gough is a graduate of Clark University and has been working at BBBSCM as an AmeriCorps Ambassador of Mentoring for 6 months. She volunteered to answer some questions for us and share her experience, as well as her excitement for the upcoming Rodman Ride for Kids on Saturday, September 24th.
What made you decide to join AmeriCorps?
“I was at a period of transition in my life. I had just graduated from college and took a random job back home in Oregon. After 8 months, I thought I should move on to something a bit more rewarding that allows me to give back to the world, while also doing something more closely related to my previous nonprofit experience. AmeriCorps fit the bill.”
What projects have you been involved with in the Big Brothers Big Sisters office?
“I have been doing a lot of capacity building in regards to our online presence. I’ve updated the website and created the Match Central portal, which has a lot of resources for our Bigs and Littles. I’ve updated our blog format to increase accessibility. I also created the Match activity newsletter which is distributed to our community matches monthly to inform them of events in their area and help engage them in case they’re running out of ideas.”
What do you think is the greatest change that Littles experience while in our program?
“Many of our Littles are struggling with transitional periods in their lives, whether it’s loss or abandonment, or even just a general sense of instability. So when they have a mentor that brings them that stability, they grow their confidence in all areas of their lives, whether that’s academically, socially, or behaviorally.”
How about for mentors?
“For mentors, I’d say the biggest transformation is the realization that they can affect change themselves. They are able to see the impact they can have on someone else’s life. It’s a pretty humbling experience and it’s cool to see them experience that friendship that they otherwise would not have without BBBS.”
What are you most looking forward to about the Rodman Ride for Kids?
“I’m excited for the whole thing. It’s supposed to be really high energy. There’s a lot of build-up. It’s my first experience with Rodman Ride so I’m excited to see the turnout. I’m trying to raise a thousand dollars!”
What do you think separates the Rodman Ride from other youth fundraisers?
“It’s a more far-reaching and engaging than many fundraisers. It amazing to see our partners, supportive corporate groups, families, and friends come together as a group and participate in some way whether its donating, riding, or fundraising, or volunteering on the day of. There’s so many ways to get involved!”
What emotions would you expect to be on your mind throughout your 25 mile trek?
“I would expect to experience joy, hunger and accomplishment.”
How do you plan to reach your fundraising goal?
“I have a whole social media plan worked out. I have come up with funny posts, videos and pictures to draw people in and make them want to donate. Eventually, it’s going to turn into guilt tripping when we get closer to the day, so I’m gonna be like “Hey, I know you haven’t donated… I thought we were friends!”
If you want to get involved with the Rodman Ride for Kids, learn more at bbbscm.org/rodman or contact Jackie.Lyon@bbbscm.org!