I remember the first time I met my Big Sister, Beth. At the time, I didn’t understand the significance of having a mentor to take me skiing, pottery painting, pumpkin-picking – it was just “fun!” Looking back, I recall my mother struggling through her first few years in the States, learning English and applying for banking positions while cleaning apartments on the side. As hard as she tried, she simply couldn’t afford to spend time doing these seemingly trivial activities with me, even though these activities are the building blocks of a childhood.
During one of our spats, I confronted her about the lack of attention I got from her, our struggles with money and how unfair the world was. Instead of dismissing my 11-year-old melodramatic ways, she sat me down and talked about her life in Russia: how she was a bank manager, and had 3 people working under her, how she graduated from one of the top financial institutions in the country, how her life in Moscow was heading down a good path.
The only thing she was concerned about was my future. She was willing to move our entire family (at the time, this included my father) to a foreign country, and start from scratch, if only for the sake of my education. It was hard to believe how far into the future she looked! When I announced that I would go to college out-of-state, she was startled: “Why would you leave Boston? I chose to move here because I read that it has the biggest variety of good universities!” And so, I stayed.
If this scholarship has given me anything, it is the satisfaction of seeing my mother beam with pride at being able to send me to a private university. I am so thankful to be able to remain close to those I love, while fulfilling my dream of living in the city. I feel privileged to be surrounded by so much history, music, art and beauty. I will never forget the generosity of those who help me keep pushing forward.
I am well on my way to graduating with a BS/MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University, thanks to the positive influence of my Big Sister, and financial aid from JBBBS to my family. Nothing has contributed more to my life than this wonderful organization.
I would like to personally invite you all to come June 10 to the Scholar’s Dinner and hear other amazing success stories!
By: Alex K., alumni Little Sister and JBBBS Educational Scholarship recipient
Don’t underestimate how important it is to our Scholars to get to meet you, to hear from you about why you care and to have the opportunity to tell you what they’ve been up to on account of your support. Don’t miss it. More information here.