August 26, 2021

Sam Sperberg & Jayla

My name is Sam, and this is my Little Sister, Jayla. She and I have been matched for 2 years and have been having a blast ever since! I heard about Big Brothers Big Sisters through some friends that work in the Shawano school district who were looking for additional board members and Bigs. Once I became familiar with the board and heard about the need for mentors, I was eager to help more. Jayla wanted to be matched to have some new experiences and meet someone new.

Jayla and I really hit it off and have a lot in common. We enjoy spending time with my horses, kayaking, fishing, four-wheeling, miniature golfing, go karting, going to Packer games and everything in between. During the winter we enjoy painting, crafting, bowling and taking meals to the homeless shelter in Shawano. We tried our hand at deer hunting, but it was a little too cold for us; maybe we’ll give it another shot with a better heater! We also really enjoy participating in the BBBS events that different counties put on.

Jayla and I have really grown as individuals since starting this process. When we first met, Jayla was very quiet and didn’t go out of her comfort zone much. Since then we have done public speaking events, and she has absolutely thrived! She went from timid and shy to speaking without hesitation to a group of strangers. This has been a huge stepping stone for her, and I couldn’t be more proud.

I really enjoy being a Big, not only for the changes I see in my little, but also what she has done for me. She has brought me out of my comfort zone a few times on trying new things, and we always have a great time. Jayla shared that she has gotten to do new things. She also said that having a Big is like having a real sister who she can turn to no matter what.

She has really taught me how to be more patient and that we have to make time for the things we enjoy. Sometimes life gets busy, but making time for each other has really been beneficial. No matter what, we have always made our time fun and really brought out the best in each other. Jayla and I are hoping to stay matched as long as we can, but we agreed that we want to stay in each other’s lives after BBBS. Jayla said it right, “It’s just like family.”

To anyone considering being matched, I highly recommend it. I think a lot of people worry about the time commitment, but even if it’s an hour a week, it means so much to these littles. You make it work! Once you see your little benefit from a quick conversation or a lunch date with you, it makes all the difference- not only for them, but for you too!