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Why I Give: Stories on Volunteering, Giving Back (Olivera Teodorovic)

Olivera Teodorovic pictured with the teen she mentors. (Photo courtesy of Olivera Teodorovic)

When people hear “Superwoman,” the words justice and strength may come to mind. This cherished comic book character positively affects the lives of those she encounters, but who’s to say she isn’t real? This is the final article in a four-part series that shares how four superwomen change lives and take on unique, yet rewarding, challenges as they offer their time as community volunteers.

I’m A Big Sister

“The decision to become a big sister wasn’t hard,” said Olivera Teodorovic, a graphics illustrator at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. “I have absolutely no regrets.”

Teodorovic volunteers with a well-established youth mentoring network in South Puget Sound, Washington. She had long known she wanted to help someone. Her family values new experiences — her parents emigrated from the former country of Yugoslavia (now Serbia) to the United States when she was young.

“I grew up in a privileged household and always felt that when I had the opportunity to help someone I would take it,” she said. “I remember having friends that couldn’t do certain things because they didn’t have the money or didn’t have the transportation. I wanted to expose my ‘little sister’ to things beyond her normal experience.”

She’s been part of the teen’s life through high school, some of the hardest transitional years. Teodorovic has helped guide her “little sister” through exams, heartaches and disagreements, but most importantly, Teodorovic has been a friend.

“She is 17, looking at colleges, interested in career paths and I want to help her see the opportunities she has in the world…and I want to encourage her, not pressure her, to be amazing. There is no better outcome,” Teodorovic said.

Comments (4)

  • I loved your story and Thank You for what you are doing. It is such a rewarding way to impact someone's life and give back. I also am a Mentor in my community in Iowa. My mentee is Natalie , 10 years old who lives with her Grandparents and her older sister. Her Mother died when she was 5 and her Dad is in prison so her life has had quite a story already. We are headed to our 2nd year anniversary together and it has been a fun experience. My son was in college when I decided to become a Mentor as I had time on my hands so decided this as a good choice. I have no regrets.

    Good luck to you both.

    Ms Dayle Broocks

    • Dayle, thank you for sharing your story. You are making an incredible impact on this young woman's life.

  • WhyIi give if not for serve and support, why if not for offer my live for others on a continuum excalation, why is not for sacrifice and make my life spent for the valors I trust?And why I am volountering if not for support men who are serving us and country, for say them I am here for you, for support and for make you aware you are not alone? No other count than may be of utility to men whose life is offered for valors and Honor, for men whose sacrifices are ideals we love

    • Thank you Claudio.

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This page was last updated on: March 1, 2017.