April 26, 2017 (Des Moines, Iowa)- As part of National Volunteer Week celebration activities across the county, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds inducted three new members into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame and presented Excellence in Mentoring awards to five individuals for their dedication and service as mentors and mentor advocates in their community.
Our own Rose Strickland was recognized for her role as a Big Sister and advocate for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley! Rose exudes genuineness, which gives her credibility when talking with others about her match and in articles she has written to encourage mentoring. She has seen her little, Annabelle dare to dream of accomplishing things that years ago she would have thought impossible. Early in the match, Annabelle would ask if they would still be together in high school. Rose's response was always, "I am here for you as long as you want me to be with you!".
Rose and Annabelle can be found a many of the BBBSMV coordinated activities and enhancements. "BBBSMV offers a full range of engagement opportunities that grow the relationship and guide the match to important discussion topics such as careers, employment, mentor health, relationships, bullying, and many others." Strickland said. "We always try to participate in these activities because of what they offer us- an opportunity to grow our relationship, deepen our connection to BBBS staff, the opportunity to meet and develop friendships with other matches, and an opportunity to access and engage in great community experiences,"
(photos L-R- Plant Sale, Reunite Picnic, Speak with Confidence Workshop)
Rose and Annabelle have participated in numerous BBBSMV activities including: Career Navigator Tours, Job Readiness Program, Speak with Confidence training, College Readiness program, and countless social activities such as the fall picnic, holiday party, and Camp Shalom fun day. "There are so many opportunities to have fun and deepen our relationship." The latest is helping Annabelle prepare for driving.
(photo- Camp Conastoga)
Currently, Annabelle is a student at Bettendorf High School and recently made the softball team. "Her practice and game schedule will keep her busy this summer," states Rose, "which may affect our attendance at BBBSMV events we love to attend, however, I will be there cheering Annabelle on as she accomplishes another goal in her life!"