Impact Stories

The basis of all Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South programs is the one-to-one mentoring friendship between a Big and Little – and the story of each match is unique. Here are a couple of our favorite stories of impact.

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I‘ve really appreciated our meaningful discussions and the time we have spent together.  Over the course of our match relationship, I’ve improved in many ways.  My main transformation has been trying new things and not being afraid to try new things.  Building this fearless confidence because of his support.

I feel we have built a great rapport.  I admire his kindness, warmth and his humor.  I hope to emulate those traits in my own life and give back to a child in the future.  I truly appreciate Mr. Tony for being a great Big Brother.

Little Brother of the Year 2023
Elijah Colter

Inspire- Motivate- Educate and Expose were a few goals I wanted to achieve as a BIG in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program.  I wanted to give back to my community by making a positive impact on the life of a child.

My Little Brother and I have been matched since December of 2019.  Elijah has totally made being a Big an amazing experience. Our relationship is fulfilling and rewarding because he is talented and has so much potential that it is awesome to see him blossoming right before his eyes.

Over the years I have witnessed huge changes in Elijah.  He went from being a very shy and timid kid to a confident teen.  He has found his voice and is more comfortable with using it.  He shares everything from his daily activities, hobbies, relationships with classmates, extracurricular activities  and more.  His behavior, energy and positive attitude is infectious to all that comes in contact with him.

Helping him navigate through tough times such as missi his Dad and dealing with the effects of the pandemic, has made us stronger.  I enjoy hanging out with him, attending sporting events, playing sports, video games and just talking.  I look forward to seeing him grow into an amazing adult.

The biggest advice I would like to give any future BIG is to “BE AVAILABLE” and “Listen” to your Little. Being a BIG to Elijah has been the most rewarding life experience I could’ve ever imagined – THANK YOU BBBS of the Mid-South.

Big Brother of the Year 2023
Antonio Franklin


Stephanie, thank you for being the best Big Sister than anyone could ever have.  When we first met I was quiet and shy because I didn’t know you.  I wasn’t used to talking and didn’t know how you would be. Now, I feel more comfortable being around you.  I am super excited to talk to you and hang out with you. I really like how you always try to keep our routine no matter what.  This is important to me! You make sure to show me that the little things matter. We celebrate our matchiversary every year and it always makes me feel special, which makes me smile. I love having you as a Big Sister and would not ask for anything different. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful memories.

Little Sister of the Year 2023
Amanda McKinny

I came into this program not exactly knowing what to expect. I had been married for almost nine years at the time, and we knew that children weren’t in the picture for the foreseeable future. But even knowing that, I so desperately wanted someone that I could help mold into the best version of themselves. In my work as an Immigration Lawyer, I often see people at the worst. Though I love my job, I wanted a change in scenery, something that was not as mentally and emotionally straining for every day. I can’t remember how I decided to get active in the BBBS program. It must have been just by word of mouth since I currently work in the nonprofit scope. Whatever that case may be, I was forever changed by deciding to apply. When I met Amanda in 2020, her energy was always so upbeat and contagious, despite the way the world was. I found myself so excited to get to know her and everything that a relationship with her entailed. I was always so impressed with her positivity as we learned new words and applied them to real life concepts so she could remember the words and definitions better. Amanda and I like to explore various aspects of Memphis that she has never experienced before. We have gone ice skating at the Memphis Zoo during the Zoo Lights event they hold every winter, attended a Memphis Grizzlies professional basketball game, fed coy fish and smelled every type of flower at the Memphis Botanic Gardens, we baked fresh pumpkin seeds from pumpkins that we personally picked out at the pumpkin patch last fall. We also enjoy trying different restaurants around town.

I am known as a “to-do list” person. I am very Type A; I need to accomplish something before I move on to the next task or goal. However, spending time with Amanda over the last few years through BBBS has made me slow down and enjoy life and Memphis more. Seeing her learn new things and behold new experiences has been a breath of fresh air. The goal of BBBS is not to change your Little; it is to provide them with new experiences and to ensure they meet their full potential. Watching her eyes light up as she takes in a new experience is always so humbling. Now, as new restaurants open in Memphis, or I hear of new attractions or events, we decide together about what she wants to try next time. Amanda has taught me to slow down, enjoy life, stop to smell all of the flowers! As we continue to spend time together, I have seen that I am better for being in Amanda’s presence. I am beyond grateful for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South for giving us a safe space to grow together and to ensure she reaches her full potential.

Big Sister of the Year 2023
Stephaine Berish