Community volunteer profiles

Big Buddies is a program that pairs local kids with a student role model, or “big buddy,” from Mount Allison. Buddies spend time together once a week hanging out, playing games and building friendships.

George Jacob is a second-year sociology major.

“I’d like to emphasize that the one hour at Big Buddies is continually the highlight of my week. It’s during this hour that all your stress disappears entirely because suddenly your world is concerned with simply being the best big buddy you can be. We run around for an hour, screaming, laughing and playing with kids that we know want us to be there, who enjoy our company and who only ever judge when you aren’t laughing as hard as you should be. All that matters are the smiles that are left on everyone’s faces because you got to remember what it’s really like to be a kid again – something that so many of us have forgotten. And that’s a lesson that can only be learned from a kid, because after all they are the experts, and we’re the naive ones.”

Cecilia Watt is a second-year english major.

“Growing up in Sackville there were always Mt. A students involved in my life, whether they were in my classroom helping, teaching me piano or coaching swimming and soccer. Big Buddies was the perfect opportunity for me to give back to my town and to Mt. A. And every Thursday at 6:15, no matter how tired I am, it is always worth it. It’s worth it to see the smile on my buddy’s face every time she sees me, it’s worth it to see her get more and more comfortable playing with other kids every week, and it’s worth it to see a group of stressed out university students completely forget their worries and become kids again for an hour. It has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, the kids adopt you as their own and make you a part of their family, and there’s nothing better than that.”

Marina Mavridis