Top: Corrine Sabo (Photo by James Benavides)
UTSA employee Corinne Sabo says being a Big Sister means having fun
By Corrine Sabo
Accounting Technician, UTSA Prefreshman Engineering Program
(Oct. 12, 2007)--One of the best things I've ever done for myself is to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas [agency code 415016]. Not only am I having a lot of fun, I'm learning just as much as my little sister, Celeste. In fact, the contract that Celeste, her family and I signed states that we have to have fun!
You can give as much or as little time as you have as a Big Sister. The important thing is to be a friend. Celeste is 7 years old, has just started second grade and comes from a single parent family. She's really bright, and we have a great time. The good thing is, for now, she gets tired before I do.
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Right now I see her once a week, but as kids get older they have more commitments, so I think that will change eventually. On the weekends, I pick her up and we go places: to the park to play soccer, to art museums, the Witte, the Institute of Texan Cultures (I get in free as a UTSA employee), the San Antonio Zoo and the Botanical Gardens are favorites. We always end up at Dairy Queen.
She had never been to the Alamo, so one Saturday, we went downtown and parked at UTSA, went to the Mercado, rode the trolley, walked on the River Walk and visited the Alamo. Well, mostly we visited the store at the Alamo, but it was fun.
I've learned a lot about myself as Celeste's Big Sister. For example, I learned I have a talent for sound effects. One day she was reading a book (she reads above her grade level) and asked me, "What does static over the radio mean?" and so I tried to make the sound. Turns out, I'm pretty good at this sort of thing, so now when she reads I provide all kinds of sound effects.
I haven't had the license to act like a child in a while. Doing this reconnects you to yourself when you were younger.
Recently, we went to a children's book fair where someone had written a book about UTSA President Ricardo Romo, and he was there signing books. So, I introduced Celeste to him and they had a little chat. Afterwards, it was all she could talk about. For a young Latina, that was important.
What got me started being a volunteer was last year's SECC story about Big Brothers Big Sisters. I had thought about it before, but never actually took the step. All I had to do was click the link and I'm really glad I did. It changed my life, and Celeste's, too!
- Learn more about becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister at the Becoming a Mentor Web site.
- The 2007 State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) runs through Oct. 19. Return your paper pledge forms to your Area Champion before Oct. 19; if you have not received a pledge form, call (210) 458-5136.
- Learn how to donate online to SECC.
- Make plans to attend "UTSA's Got Talent," 9-10:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 19 in the Business Building Richard Liu Auditorium (2.01.02), 1604 Campus. You won't see these acts on YouTube! Did you know that your boss can dance and sing? Come see UTSA's faculty and staff display their extroverted sides in a fun-filled event. Your SECC donation is your ticket to this one-of-a-kind event. If you would like to help with the event, call (210) 458-5136.