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MATCH OF THE MONTH | TINA JACQMIN & CITLALLI

April 3, 2019

Each month, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin shines a light on the relationships that we are helping build within our community. Please help us congratulate Tina Jacqmin and her Little Sister Citlalli, both of Green Bay — our Match of the Month for April.

Where did you hear about Big Brothers Big Sisters?

Tina: Big Brothers Big Sisters is very visible in the Green Bay area so there is a lot of information available about its great work and also the ongoing need for mentors. I started out volunteering as a “Reading Coach” at several local elementary schools, but I liked the idea of having a one-on-one relationship that could develop over time. Big Brothers Big Sisters does a wonderful job of finding a strong match. The site-based program is ideal for working adults who aren’t quite ready or able to commit to the (community-based) match. I have been a site-based mentor for over 10 years.

Why did you want to become involved?

Tina: I am fortunate to have strong family support and an employer that promotes and supports volunteering in the community. I love the elementary school environment – it is perfect for the site-based program. My children are grown and it’s a lot of fun going back to grade school once a week. Some things haven’t changed much, classrooms look the same, a lot of noise and energy and the lost and found table is still full of hats and mittens. The site-based program requires less than two hours a week of my time.

What do you do when you spend time together?

Citlalli: We do arts, crafts and games. We talk about school, celebrate holidays and go to the summer picnic.

What do you do when you spend time together?

Tina: We meet weekly on her lunch break at school. This works well because it is consistent for both if us. For the most part, we do a lot of arts and crafts (seasonal activities) and board games. In December, we made Christmas cards, in February we made valentines, etc. I also try to include conversations about what is happening in the classroom (academics, friends, homework, etc.). The time goes by very fast and there is never a shortage of things to do. We also occasionally go to the school library to read.

Is there something in particular that stands out as a memorable time with your Big?

Citlalli: We went to Bay Beach and did rock painting at the summer picnic. Rock painting at the summer picnic was great.

Is there something in particular that stands out as a memorable time with your Little?

Tina: A great aspect of the site-based program is that even though it’s a more limited commitment, we are included in other Big Brothers Big Sisters activities. For example, we are included in the summer picnic (which has included outings to Bay Beach and local parks). The outing to Bay Beach was especially memorable as I had not been on a ride at Bay Beach in a very long time. We went on 12 rides that day and it was quite the experience! I have also attended school Christmas programs and concerts.

Is there something in the future that you would like to do together, or that you look forward to experiencing together?

Tina: Its’ been a joy to watch my Little grow up. We were matched when she was in second grade and she is now in fourth grade. She has changed significantly in two years and I need to ensure I stay aware of the challenges of growing up. I am looking forward to watching her continue to grow and mature.

Is there something in the future that you would like to do together, or that you look forward to experiencing together?

Citlalli: Bay Beach again or something with rock painting. I love arts and crafts!

What have you learned from your Big?

Citlalli: She tells me how to handle myself when people are not nice and how to ignore them and still try to be nice. Ignore mean people and just be yourself.

In what way has being matched with your Little affected you and your life?

Tina: Being matched with my Little has been an enlightening experience. Once your own children are grown, it is very easy to take for granted the challenges that today’s youth are facing. Relationships with families, friends, teachers, etc… can be very positive but also very stressful. Even young children can benefit from an objective, listening ear. I hope that I have been able to make a difference.

If you had a crystal ball and could see five years into the future, what do you see for yourself?

Citlalli: Working on being fashion designer. My Big can help me with that. I also love animals and want to work with them.

What would you say to others about Big Brothers Big Sisters and to others who are thinking about becoming a Big?

Tina: The site-based program is ideal for working adults who like the idea of volunteering, but with a lesser time commitment. The site-based program is a perfect way to see if being a Big is right for you. I strongly encourage considering this option. One to two hours a week can make a big difference in the life of a child.