Worlds Beyond

Worlds Beyond

BBBSEMO matches deepen bonds, make memories through travel scholarships

Over the last few years, longtime BBBSEMO friend and partner Maritz Travel has offered Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri (BBBSEMO) a handful of travel packages for matches together for five or more years. Bigs and Littles apply jointly for the scholarship, which provides opportunity for Littles to experience the world beyond what’s already familiar. The trips also present a chance for matches to learn more about one another as they explore a new locale together.

Two Bigs whose Littles received 2018 Maritz Travel / BBBSEMO Travel Experience scholarships share a little about their trips below. Look for more photos and notes from this year’s recipients on BBBSEMO’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter platforms!

Little Sister J’myn (17)
and Big Sister Andi

Matched: Almost 7 years

Visited Chicago, Illinois for a trip filled
with views of stage, street, sea, and sky

Big Sister Andi:

"We LOVED Hamilton. J'ymn loves theater and loved every minute of the show, as did I. She bought a T-shirt, and I know she'll be wearing that thing all the time.

We talked about so many things… J’myn’s senior year coming up, and college applications. I also was excited to hear about her summer job and things going on personally with her. I learned that J’myn doesn't like big cities… she isn't about the traffic and having to walk places, ha ha! Our relationship definitely was strengthened.

(Since I’ve moved a couple hours away) we see each other every few months, so to get all this time to spend with one another was awesome. There were moments over the weekend I thought about meeting J’ymn almost eight years ago, and what a great young woman she's become. I'm so proud of her and can't wait for her to graduate and go to college.  That was her mom and my goal, and we are just one year away 🙂  So blessed to be a part of this young lady’s life!"

Little Brother KJ (16) and Big Brother Joe

Matched: 6.5 years

Visited Indianapolis, Indiana for a taste of adventure,
college life, and meaty eats (and conversation)

Big Brother Joe:

"For KJ, the highlight was BlueWallVR, the virtual reality place owned/operated by two young entrepreneurs who were just 20 years old and told him all about their start-up experience. It was an unexpected development opportunity for him… his head was swimming with ideas. KJ’s interested in double-majoring in software design and business/management, so this experience hit that sweet spot!

He also really enjoyed the two college visits to Rose-Hulman (Institute of Technology) and DePauw on the way to Indy. He got a real flavor for the differences. Surprisingly, he enjoyed DePauw more even though it’s less STEM-focused. He said, for him, it's all about the environment and the feel of the place, which I encouraged him to keep as a lead value in his search. 

And the food! We went to Burger Study and he had a $13 burger topped with root-beer infused bacon. He said it was the fanciest sandwich he's ever had. He was very excited about it!

We had some good conversations in the car ride. We've never spent this much time together, for so long. I got a much better sense of his intelligence and maturity."

Want to learn more about the Maritz Travel/BBBSEMO Travel Experience?

Check out this recent Maritz blog post for some of the history. You can also reach out to Madeline Sowatsky, Resource and Support Manager at BBBSEMO, for information on how you (and your Big or Little) can apply for this great opportunity in 2019.