By: Kimberly Valenzuela
During Massachusetts Promise Fellow week, BBBS would like to highlight the work of Kimberly Valenzuela. Through her Americorps service, Kimberly has developed our College and Career Readiness mentoring program at Framingham middle schools. Thank you to Kimberly for her dedicated work, and to Massachusetts Promise Fellows for their support. Here is one story from Kimberly’s experience.
As a Massachusetts Promise Fellow, I focused on helping the youth improve their self-esteem, peer relations, social skills, and academics. I’ve seen many impactful matches. Although many of the Bigs and Littles have grown to have an amazing relationship, there is one match that has had a major impact on my year of service.
Lily and Nadeishka was my first official match and changed my idea of mentoring completely. When Nadeishka first started BBBS she was going through many struggles, but I always knew she had a soft spot. When she was first matched with Lily she was nervous that Lily wasn’t going to like her. She had no idea they would be a perfect match. The day they met they clicked instantly. Lily help Nadeishka overcome many hurdles. I started to see such a change; Nadeishka was happier and became very open. She would sit by the door every Wednesday waiting for her Big to arrive. Lily would help her with her homework and they loved to make friendship bracelets. On the last day of programming Lily got Nadeishka a present. It was an Alex and Ani bracelet from BBBS. Nadeishka cried of joy and happiness. When the program ended Nadeishka thanked me for matching her with Lily. This has shown me that any positive connection that the youth can have with an adult is worth a lifetime.
If you’d like to become a Massachusetts Promise Fellow, see the open positions here!