Big Sister, Elysha Rice and her “Little,” Julie, were matched for five years – nearly 15 years ago! In the time since, Elysha moved out of state and started a family. Julie graduated and forged ahead with her career. But when Elysha returned to Boston for vacation this summer, the two made time for lunch and catch-up. We caught up with Elysha and Julie, too, who had this to say about their then and now. Thanks to Elysha and Julie for sharing!
What were you up to when you were matched in 2002? What are you up to now?
Elysha – I was single and teaching middle school in Newton. Now I live outside of Milwaukee with my husband and two sons and teach high school in Shorewood, Wisconsin.
Julie – I was only 12 when we were first matched, so I was still in school going through a pretty difficult time. Currently, I work for Massachusetts General Hospital…soon going for my nursing degree to further my education.
What’s the single biggest thing that’s changed for each of you in the years since then?
Elysha – I’m married with kids!
Julie – The biggest change in my life is the fact I’ve gone to and graduated from school, as well as getting hired at the best hospital in the northeast!
You recently got together after lots of years apart. Tell us about that meeting.
Elysha – I was visiting Boston for the week with my family. It took us a bit of schedule finagling to find a time to meet, but Julie met my family and my best friend and her kids for lunch in Newton. We got to chat quite a bit and I loved hearing about what she’s been up to. I was so proud to hear how hard she’s worked to get where she is and what a great head she has on her shoulders!
Julie – The meeting was great, it was so wonderful meeting her family, catching up, reminiscing about the wonderful role model Elysha was for me. She had such a huge impact on my life and the person I have become! It was really great to see her again.
Why do you care about mentoring?
Elysha – Before I joined JBBBS, I read a study during my graduate work from the BBBS organization that showed the huge impact mentoring could have on kids. I was matched with Julie for five years. I recall what I learned from that experience and apply it to teaching.
Julie – If didn’t have Elysha in my life, I am not sure who I would have become. At that point in my life I really needed someone to be there for me, and Elysha was just that wonderful angel sent from G-d to help me become the person I was truly meant to be. Someday, I would just love to be there for someone the way Elysha was for me.
What’s next for you – individually and collectively?
Julie – I’ll be continuing my education in nursing. Collectively? I hope to see Elysha when she’s back in Boston and to continue this friendship!
Elysha – I will be teaching both middle school and high school next year, and my own son will start public school! I plan to continue to visit Boston at least yearly, and to see Julie again when I’m here. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy keeping up with her life on social media, and sharing mine with her there.