BIG SPOTLIGHT: Audra
Meet Audra Cox, one of our most dedicated volunteers! Audra has been a Speech Language Therapist Assistant at South Gibson School Corporation for the past 4 years and is also working on her Master’s degree.
Audra first heard about the program when she was in college and several of her friends participated in the program. Her friends talked about how much they loved having a Little to hang out with and she decided then that she wanted to be a Big Sister too! Once the timing was right and she felt settled, she applied to be a Big Sister. And she’s been matched with her Little Sister Allie for 4 years!
Sometimes matches have traditions or stand-by favorites, and Allie and Audra are no different. They always make time to celebrate birthdays and holidays together, but their “thing” is always going out to eat when they see each other. Audra makes sure to let Allie pick and it’s almost always Chinese or Mexican food. Beyond their typical outing they still manage to have lots of fun and they try new things. When asked about her favorite outing, Audra said that it’s really hard to choose just one. However, if she had to narrow it down, she’d pick their very first trip to Holiday World. They were out together on a match outing when Audra won tickets on the radio, which pumped them both up! “She was barely tall enough to ride the Thunderbird, so it was exciting for both of us. It was so awesome to see her joyful all day of riding all the rides until the park closed and she slept the whole ride home.”
Audra says that sometimes it’s hard when they don’t get to see each other as much as they’d like. She genuinely likes spending time with her Little. “No matter if I see her every week, it never seems enough because we have so much fun together”.
When asked what surprised her about the experience, she said that “I expected to have a connection but I never thought a kid could impact me as much as Allie has. The older she has got, the more she has matured and has started to give me advice, which is nice for once. We have so much in common and she likes to eat/do the same things I do.” She goes on to say, “I never thought I would be as close as I am with her family either. They treat me like one of their own and it is just a great feeling!”
With so much experience as a Big, we asked Audra what advice she has for newbies. “Spend as much time with your Little as you can. The reason I think Allie and I clicked so much and quickly is because I gave her all of my attention and let her pick where she wanted to go. The only thing we haven’t done that she wants to do is zip lining so that will probably be the next adventure!”
If you are interested in becoming a Big Sister Like Audra visit mentoringkids.org