The Big Sister We Wish We Had, Maxine Winston

This week, we sit down with Maxine Winston, the always warm and approachable Co-President of Big Brothers Big Sisters. In addition to spending time with her Little and managing Penn’s chapter of BBBS, this Boston Native spends her time as a sister in Sigma Kappa, a Wharton Peer Advising Fellow, a Wharton Ambassador, and a campus tour guide.

Name: Maxine Winston

Year: Senior

Major: Business (Concentration in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, minor in Hispanic Studies)

Favorite Color: Pink!

Favorite Food: I think my favorite food is probably the nachos at El Vez. There’s a rumor going around that I finished a whole plate once, and I won’t deny it.

Three Best Qualities: I like to think I am optimistic, friendly, and that I don’t take myself too seriously.


Her Campus: Tell us a little bit about Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Maxine Winston: Big Brothers Big Sisters at Penn is the Penn chapter of the large national organization, which is the largest youth mentoring organization in the country. Our chapter is the largest school-based mentoring program in the country. We pair Penn students with Littles from our partner schools in West Philadelphia and Center City, and they visit them once a week at school. They spend time getting to know their Littles by playing games, chatting and playing sports, and they build a lasting and impactful relationship through the process.

HC: When did you first become involved with BBBS?

MW: I have been involved with BBBS since the fall of my freshman year at Penn. I signed up to be a Big as soon as I got on campus, and I was matched in November. I have since been on the program’s executive board for the past three years, and this is my second year as co-President.

HC: What has been the most rewarding part about being a Big?

MW: The most rewarding part about being a Big has definitely been seeing my relationship with my Little blossom into a true friendship. My consistency and efforts in trying to get to know her have really paid off in the form of our close relationship. She now feels comfortable telling me what’s going on in her life, and that’s something that you can’t build overnight.

HC: What is your favorite memory with your little sister?

MW: My favorite memory is when her mother invited me over to her house for dinner. I got to play with her little brother and sister and talk with her whole family in a relaxed setting. The experience of seeing her in another environment definitely added a lot of color to our relationship, and the invitation from her family showed me how much they value my role in her life.

HC: How has participating in BBBS changed you?

MW: Being a Big has showed me the true impact that a person can have in the community by giving up just one hour a week. I have participated in many service organizations at Penn and at home, but Big Brothers Big Sisters is the one that has most clearly allowed me to see the true impact of my efforts because it is so interpersonal and direct. It has made me optimistic and excited to see what else I can do to change the world through my work.

HC: How can people become involved?

MW: There are so many Littles in Philadelphia waiting to be matched with a Big.

Sign up to be a Big today!

You can also reach out to us with questions at [email protected]