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Bigs and Littles: High school student embracing opportunities with Big Brothers Big Sisters

Kennedy and her Big Sister Leah have become very close through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester. Kennedy is eager to learn more about the mentoring programs and is excited to become a Big Sister when she’s older. She will also be working at the organization’s new dairy bar in North River.
Kennedy and her Big Sister Leah have become very close through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester. Kennedy is eager to learn more about the mentoring programs and is excited to become a Big Sister when she’s older. She will also be working at the organization’s new dairy bar in North River. - Contributed

By Anna Rutherford

NORTH RIVER, N.S. —

Kennedy has big plans and she’s been working her way toward them for quite a while.

She’s just about to finish Grade 10 at Cobequid Educational Centre in Truro. As I sit and chat with her, I immediately see what a mature and ambitious young woman she is. She shares her plans for the future, and her excitement of starting her first job. That will be with the Fundy Scoops Dairy Bar in North River.

Kennedy is a familiar face here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colchester (BBBS Colchester). At 16 years old, Kennedy has been involved with our charity for nearly 10 years. She started out in our In School Mentoring Program when she was a student at Harmony Heights. She also participated in our in school group program, “Go Girls!” which is a eight week program for girls between the ages of 12 and 14 and focuses on healthy living.

In February 2016, Kennedy was matched with her Big Sister Leah. For the last three years Kennedy and Leah have been developing quite the bond.

“We have so much in common it’s crazy,” laughed Kennedy. “Even the way we dress and the way we walk is similar.”

Leah has become someone Kennedy confides in and someone she knows understands her.

“My mom passed away from cancer, and Leah’s mom also passed away from the same type of cancer. She knew exactly what I was going through, and always knew the right thing to say,” said Kennedy.  “She has been a great support system to me.”

Not only is Kennedy currently a Little Sister, she is also enrolled as a mentee in our Peer Mentoring program. Next year she plans on joining the program once again, but as a mentor. She wants to help a student who is new to CEC the same way her peer mentor helped her this year.

It’s not hard to tell Kennedy is the kind of person who loves to give back.

“When I’m older and more settled, I will sign up as a Big Sister,” smiled Kennedy.

She then went on to ask if Big Brothers Big Sisters is throughout Canada in case she ends up settling somewhere outside Nova Scotia. The staff here at BBBS Colchester have no doubt that where ever Kennedy ends up, she is going to make an impact in her community.

When it came time for Kennedy to look for a summer job, she knew that working at Fundy Scoops was what she wanted to do.

“I had heard about the Learn to Lead Program, and the opportunity to learn more about what goes on at Big Brothers Big Sisters, and I immediately thought, this is the job I want,” laughed Kennedy. “I plan to continue my education after high school to become a social worker, so having the opportunity to learn more about what happens at Big Brothers Big Sisters is really exciting.”

As a summer employee at Fundy Scoops, and a participant in our Learn to Lead Program, Kennedy will meet with one of our mentoring co-ordinators, Ashlee Bonnell, who will help her set some goals for her time in the program, and what she hopes to learn about the charity. Ashlee is also enrolled as a student at the University of Calgary, where she is earning her bachelor of social work degree online.

“Not only will Kennedy get to see the ins and outs of what a mentoring co-ordinator does her at BBBS Colchester, but I also hope to answer any questions she may have about the social work program,” said Ashlee. “I can show her some of my course content, and the materials we’ve covered. Hopefully it will help make her path that much clearer.”

The Dairy Bar opened last weekend in North River (where the old Molly’s Dairy Bar used to be) and will be open daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the remainder of the summer. You can head to their Instagram Page or Facebook Page for all the details @fundyscoops 

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