SIBS is a program run by the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact's (DCSI) Youth Education and Mentoring Program that matches Dartmouth students with youth from the local Upper Valley community. Pairs form tight relationships as they enjoy activities together every week on a one-on-one basis.
I was immediately drawn to the program because I loved volunteering with children in high school and enjoy babysitting on breaks. As I applied to be in SIBS, I completed an extensive personality survey to be matched with a little SIB who had similar interests as me.
I was so excited to be matched with an 8-year old girl from the local elementary school who reminded me of myself 11 years ago.
I was introduced to her at her school, and we talked about what each of us enjoyed doing in our spare time. We discovered that both of us enjoyed the outdoors, sports, New England fall foliage, and good food, among other things.
Every week, I communicate with her parents to find a time that works best for both of us. We usually meet on a weekday, and I pick her up from school using a DCSI loaner car. Her parents don't tell her I'm coming so that when she sees me round the corner, she immediately breaks out in a grin in surprise.
She really is a mini-me. We both love getting our nails done, and DCSI will pay for us to get mani-pedis! I also take her to my dorm building, where we watch movies, eat food, and do "spa" days in the common room. She loves being on a college campus with all the "big kids," and being in a dorm is an adventure for her. We go shopping around the Upper Valley, mostly just looking at all that the town has to offer. One of my favorite activities is indulging ourselves with McDonald's fries, cookies, and all else delicious. We also go on outings with another SIBS pair and enjoy the same activities but in a group setting.
The SIBS program is a great way to give back to Dartmouth's local community and connect with youth. The DCSI has many other great programs that work within the Upper Valley. SIBS has helped me to form a connection outside of the Dartmouth community.
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