March 2, 2020


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 Sue Rocheleau and her Little, Goretty — our Brown County Match of the Month for March.

Where did you hear about Big Brothers Big Sisters?

Sue: I attended an LLI class at UWGB.

Why did you want to become involved?

S: My husband and I became empty nesters when our two sons graduated from college. Our sons live far away, one in Arizona and the other near Detroit, Michigan. We only see them 2 or 3 times a year and I missed having young people in my life. I thought it would be good to share experiences with a young person.

Why did you want to have Big Sister?

Goretty: I wanted to have a Big Sister because I wanted her to be able to teach me things that my mom wasn’t able to or did not have time to teach me because she would be working or doing other important things around the house and for us. I wanted to have an adult that I could trust and that I would be able to talk about my things to. Sue has done more than she signed up for. She is an important role model in my life and I give thanks that I have her in my life to guide me along with my mother and other important people in my life.

What do you do when you spend time together?

S: Goretty is so willing to try new things so we have gone camping, kayaking, skiing and even riding a Segway, as well as regular activities like riding bikes, going to the movies, eating out or just taking a walk.

G: When we spend time together, we usually go out to eat tacos or go for a walk while we talk about how things have been after the last time we have seen each other. We watch movies, bake cookies or cake. We go on bike rides. We have been to the NEW Zoo. Our favorite thing to do is go for a ride and find a spot to look at the sunset or the scenery and just talk.

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

S: I got to go along with Goretty’s family to a Quinceanera, which is a Mexican celebration for a girl’s fifteenth birthday. It was as big as a wedding with food, dancing and the birthday girl’s special, fancy dresses. She was serenaded in a grand march and dance with 5 boys as her escorts in their matching outfits. Quite a special occasion.

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

G: In the future, I hope we are able to experience a trip together. I know that we share the same passion for traveling and now that I will be in college, I am hoping we can have trips and we can explore the world together. I hope that Sue will show me the different cultures that she has seen when she travels and that she is able to share that with me.

S: I have helped Goretty with looking for colleges to attend this fall by going to college fairs and taking a tour of UW – Eau Claire. I can’t wait to see her fulfilling her dream, of being the first in her family to go to college.

What have you enjoyed about being a Big?

S: Goretty has been such a big part of my life these past 4 years which has helped me to be more active and young at heart. I enjoy her family and learning about their culture. All this experience has made me a better person.

What have you learned from your Big?

G: I have learned from Sue that you have to enjoy every single moment in your life. If you are having a bad day, you can make the next day better. There will always be light at the end of the tunnel. She has taught me that I either have an hour of sadness out of 24 hours of a day, or I can turn the whole day to a sad day and not enjoy life. She has been a great support system for me and I will never stop thanking her for being my Big Sister. I give thanks that Big Brothers Big Sisters matched me with an incredible person. If it weren’t for them, I do not know what I would do without a mentor like Sue.

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

S: I am the lucky one to have been paired up with someone as special as Goretty. In many ways she is so similar to me when I was her age. I have really enjoyed our times together, even if it’s just to listen when she needs someone to talk to.

What would you tell to others interested in Big Brothers Big Sisters?

S: Goretty and I have a great relationship and I would definitely recommend becoming a Big so other Littles who are waiting will get paired up. It certainly is one of the best things I’ve ever done.

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

G: If I had a crystal ball and  could see five years into the future, I could see myself having lunch with Sue at the Daily Buzz, planning a trip somewhere cool in the world and talking about my future after college.