It Often Begins Quietly

March 1, 2007

Cheryl and her Little Sister Melissa met for the first time and went skating together at Bower Ponds in Red Deer.

Six year old Melissa was quiet during their first meeting, but Cheryl was excited at the opportunity to be her Big Sister. During the first year of their match, Melissa barely spoke a word. Once a week, Cheryl would pick her up and they would go do an activity together. Cheryl would make efforts to begin a conversation, but Melissa would not respond or would make brief, one word answers while avoiding eye contact.

The lack of communication was concerning and, at times, frustrating for Cheryl, who was unsure if Melissa was even enjoying herself. At the end of their outings, Cheryl began to ask Melissa to rate how much fun she had one a scale from one to ten. Melissa would quickly say “ten!” then hurry inside her house.

It took time, but with a lot of patience and persistance by Cheryl, eventually Melissa began to open up. The pair has been matched for nearly 7 years now, making them the longest existing match in Red Deer.


Impact of Mentoring