The best ‘Big Sister’

Peterborough woman to be honored for her work with young mentee

  • NH Big Sister of the Year Margit Colburn of Peterborough and her ‘little sister’ Kylie Boyle. Courtesy Photo

  • NH Big Sister of the Year Margit Colburn of Peterborough and her ‘little sister’ Kylie Boyle. Courtesy Photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, March 06, 2019 9:20PM

Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire has been working towards connecting ‘Littles’ with ‘Bigs’ for decades. The program allows children to have adult mentors to meet with, learn from and have fun with a couple times per month. One of these unique matches includes Margit Colburn of Peterborough and her ‘little sister’ Kylie Boyle. Colburn was recently named “Big Sister of the Year” for 2019 upon being nominated by Kylie’s mother, Bethany LeBlanc.

About 12 years ago Kylie’s older brother was battling a potentially life-threatening illness. Due to the time and commitment it takes to care for an ill child, Kylie’s mother came to realize that her daughter may not have been getting the attention and time she deserved. This is where Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire stepped in. Kylie got matched up with Colburn and the rest is history.

“It’s really been fun for me to have someone who’s enjoyed my time that I’ve given them and I’ve obviously enjoyed the time she’s given me,” Colburn said.

Colburn and Kylie spend most of their time relaxing with each other and simply enjoying each other’s company. The two have been spending time together since Kylie was nine years-old, which was nine years ago now. In that time, Colburn said that Kylie has grown in a variety of ways.

“We would sit at the counter, I’d have tea, she’d have cocoa and we’d play games. There wasn’t a lot of conversation, it was more playing games,” Colburn said. “As time has evolved we are now sharing a pot of tea and she tells me all about her life, all about school, her interest in fashion, any love interest in her life, what her hopes and dreams are for college. She’s just grown into a really fine young lady.”

Kylie has also grown from a shy, reserved child, into a confident young woman who enjoys and participates in musical theatre. Colburn said that occasionally going to a show at Palace Theatre in Manchester where she ushers or at MoCo Arts in Keene is something they enjoy doing.

In the nomination letter she wrote, Kylie’s mother also highlights the many ways this relationship has benefitted Kylie. She describes the things Colburn has taught Kylie as, “gifts that can never be bought and never be taken away.”

“Through her friendship with Margit, Kylie has learned that she doesn’t need to be someone she is not to find acceptance, friendship, and love, but that she just need accept and love herself and the right people will find her,” LeBlanc said.

Kylie also feels that through her relationship with Margit, she’s gained more than she ever thought she would through the program.

“I think that I’ve not only gained a friend from all of this but I also have another family member because she’s close with not only me but with the rest of my family too,” Kylie said.

Colburn is thankful to Big Brothers Big Sisters for bringing them together. While she is also flattered to be receiving this award, she personally feels that she’s done nothing extraordinary in offering herself as a friend to Kylie.

“We just were friends, we weren’t doing anything special,” Colburn said. “We weren’t doing things that cost a lot of money. I was simply giving my time and just being myself.”

Many people get caught up in the hustle of life, between work, school, family, socializing and anything else that takes up the hours of the day can distract people from dedicating their time, and enjoying that time, with others.

“One of the most precious commodities we have is time, and it doesn’t cost us anything to share our time,” Colburn said.

Colburn and the other winners, which includes the 2019 Big Brother, Big Couple of the Year, and Big and Little Business of the Year, will be honored at the Big Dreams Dinner in Nashua Friday night.