Our Stories

Women's History Month Feature: Cindy Epperson

In honor of Women's History Month, we sat down with Douglas Big Sister Cindy Epperson to find out her journey as a previous KSBBBS intern and now Big Sister!


Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Cindy Epperson. I started with KSBBBS in 1994. I was working on a masters degree at Emporia State University, and one of my instructors was the director of KSBBBS at the time. She eventually asked me to be her intern. I stayed with KSBBBS for a few years after i got my masters and was matched. I then moved to St. Louis for 23 years and moved back home to Kansas about 2 years ago and have been matched for about a year and 3 months- and its been amazing.


What's your Littles name?



How did you know you wanted to switch from just being an intern to volunteering as a Big?

Well, I was a professor of sociology and when we moved here, I had retired. I had a list of things I wanted to do as a volunteer, and KSBBBS has always been on my list. My husband and I are members of the Merc CoOp and while shopping there, we saw Dalton, KSBBBS staff, tabling for KSBBBS and I looked at my husband and just thought “I think this is a sign.” After talking to Dalton, I just thought “Yeah, this is what we need to do.”


What is your favorite thing about being matched with Madison?

It keeps me young! I’m now a “senior citizen” so, she keeps me young. I’ve also learned a lot about Lawrence from Madison because we like to go to new places and discover new things. On top of that, she’s now 8 years old, going on 9... and to have the opportunity to interact with someone that age... it’s great!


Do you have a mentor from when you were younger that shaped you and inspired you to someday want to mentor someone else?

I was very fortunate growing up. I had so many mentors: my parents, both sets of grandparents, and a strong church community. Today’s world is very complicated and it’s complicated to be a child in it. It’s even hard for adults, but really for children. So, being a mentor I think is a way to help them with that.


Is there anything you want to teach Madison as a female mentor?

That the door is open and there’s opportunity. For some people, the door is not open as wide, but it’s open. It’s at least cracked. For example, one thing we do at least once a month is drive through the KU campus. The empowerment during Women's History Month is that we can be whatever we want to be, so I can expose Madison to seeing opportunities that she might not be exposed to.


What does being a Big Sister mean to you?

Excitement and opportunities! I always get excited when it’s time to see Madison. Opportunities to grow and develop as a human being. As well as opportunities to meet new people! I’ve met quite a few of the Bigs, as well as the staff!


What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a Big?

Please check it out! Yes, the paperwork is a lot, but it’s worth it… Absolutely, but it at the top of your lists of things to explore!