With a deep desire to develop and expand empowerment and leadership training programs grounded in compassion with and for adolescent and young girls in the local Bronx community, PCC began its Big Sister Little Sister Program in 1999, connecting little girls from Throgs Neck Public Housing, PS 72 with Big Sister Mentors each week at Preston.
Every week girls ages 8-11 are picked up from Throgs Neck Public Housing, PS 72 and they are brought to Preston to bond with their Big Sister Mentors. The high school girls assist with homework help, motivating and encouraging their Little Sisters to do their best in school, and to improve their attendance, behavior and academic achievement.
With snacks there is time for bonding, sharing hopes and goals and dreams. This is followed by creative arts activities, games and recreation, volleyball and basketball games, birthday and holiday parties, singing and dancing and lots of fun. In an atmosphere of compassion and community, relationships are developed and self-confidence and leadership skills developed in both the Little and the Big Sisters.
After the hurricane in Haiti, we invited the 36 Big and 36 Little Sisters to become Leaders in Compassion locally and globally, by “Collecting Coins of Compassion for Haiti”. After discussing the stories of the Haiti devastation, each girl received an envelope to collect coins from family and friends in school and in the neighborhood. Over $6000 was collected and sent to children in Haiti who were living homeless, in dire poverty with little food or water.
Family day each spring brings the families of the Big and Little Sisters together for games, a barbeque and awards. We celebrate the gift of each child, as we strive to empower them to learn compassion, experience compassion, and live compassion in their own lives… as they grow in achieving academically, and as they grow into women leaders of compassion in their families and communities for our world and for our future.