Over the past 15 years, BBBSCI is proud to have provided 9,609 mentoring relationships to girls and boys in our community! To celebrate our past and look ahead to the future, we’ve asked some of the many people who’ve been a part of BBBSCI to reflect on their journey. Throughout January and February, we’re publishing blog posts written by staff, Board members, donors, and long-time supporters as they share in their own words why they’re proud to be a part of BBBSCI’s history.
Guest blogger: Vicki Mech Hester
Big Sisters of Central Indiana (BSCI) Board member; Committee Chair for Big Sisters; Big Sisters Board Chair; Big Brothers Big Sisters Board member; Big Brothers Big Sisters Interim CEO; Committee Chair for Governance; Big Sister to Little Sister Mae
Question: What year did you first become involved with BBBSCI?
Vicki Mech Hester: I think my first year as a Board member was 1996. I started as a Board member with Big Sisters of Central Indiana. In a short time, I had the honor of replacing Jane Magnus Stinson as Board Chair for BSCI. Jane was taking a leave of absence for the birth of her daughter. During that time, there were changes taking place at Big Brothers and the beginnings of discussions related to a merger process. Personally, I wasn’t sure about this. Previously I had chaired Girls Inc. and am a product of a women’s college education. So, teaching girls and young women to find their voices and to be “smart, bold and strong” is very important to me. Yet, I knew, from a business standpoint, that the analysis needed to take place. And I knew that Katherine Tyler Scott, Gail Strong Thomas, and Andy Detherage could do a great job shepherding this process for us.
Q: If applicable, discuss your memories of the time when Big Brothers and Big Sisters merged.
VMH: [I was] so honored to work with such an amazing committee and facilitator. Each of us was very passionate about children and youth and making a difference in our community. We had differences and occasionally tense times. Yet, keeping the end in mind, we worked through a process that ultimately led to the dynamic, well-run organization we have today. Hats off to the staff, Board members, Bigs, and donors who made this possible. I am so proud of who we are, what we do, and how we do it. We have a great team and much to deliver to help children and youth!
Q: Do you have a moment, project, event, etc. that you are most proud of?
VMH: I loved the Big Sisters auction. Always such a great event and done so well. And Celebrate Mentoring/our match graduation event is definitely my most favorite . . . it’s what we are all about. I am so proud of our graduating matches and our staff who supported them!
And then there’s Mae. She continues to be an amazing “Little Sister!” I am so proud of her—who she is and what she is doing. Our program helped her grow into the wonderful young woman she is!
Q: What do you hope for BBBSCI in the next 15 years of serving kids in Central Indiana?
VMH: Hire and retain the best staff possible. Continue to focus on developmental outcomes. Serve more children and youth. Raise more money to be able to make a significant difference.
Q: What are you most excited about for our future?
VMH: Success and significance. I know the potential we have and I know the needs that exist. Now is the time to push to continue to make that difference. Our children and youth need us.