Since 1975, our school has been a part of the Big Brother, Big Sister Program to help the Lower School students transition smoothly into Upper School while providing younger students an outlet for sage advice. Originally between seventh graders and seniors, juniors later joined the program to help the seventh grader class while seniors were given an extra year to help their eighth grade “sibling”.
Landon Hirata ’24 enjoys what the program has to offer, recalling fondly a moment last year when his Big Brother stood in the lunchline to get them both a mochiko chicken plate. Hirata then showed his brother and his brother’s friends to the esports gaming room, where they played video games together. “I liked listening to all of the funny stories they had,” said Hirata. “I think that the school should continue with the program so that the younger students can get advice from the older ones while also building new friendships.” Moments like these between students are why this program proves to be beneficial for both students year after year.
Kahiau Among ’20 believes that the program is important because it allows little brothers and sisters to have someone to look up to. As a little sister, she remembers being able to know an upperclassman and how cool it was “to know the ins and outs of Upper School.” Her most memorable moment was watching her big sister play in the Volleyball State Championship and giving her a lei after the game. To Among, her sister was not only an inspiration, but a true friend. This year, she hopes that her little sister will look up to her the same way.
Co-directors of the Student Activities Office (SAO) and managers of the Big Brother, Big Sister Program Mrs. Kelly Weaver and Ms. Michelle Morioka ’08 have heard stories like Among’s and continue the tradition in hope that more memories can come from it.
“It helps positive relationships and the thought of all of the students being a single family,” said Mrs. Weaver. “The younger students get help and ask questions to another student that they might not ask a teacher or parent… For the older students, it helps with leadership skills and reminds them to develop a relationship with younger people. It can also remind them to have fun and enjoy their youth.”
“It’s a great way to have interactions that you might not get otherwise,” Ms. Morioka added.
The heartwarming growth of One Team and friendship between the students is what keeps the tradition of Big Brother, Big Sister running. For the new 7th and 8th graders coming through each year, receiving new big brothers and sisters, this never ending cycle of friendship flows through our school.