Wisdom of Life

Real Life Stories

Friends Forever

John helps Andrew build his confidence.

Andrew and JohnMargaret recognized that her son Andrew needed the steady influence of a man in his life, even though Andrew, an only child, enjoyed a healthy relationship with his mom—a former soldier in the U.S. Army and now a cook at the Naval Academy. Andrew’s dad died when he was only 9-years-old. That is when Margaret called Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Big Brothers Big Sisters found the perfect match when they paired Andrew with John, an insurance broker. John first became interested in Big Brothers Big Sisters through a colleague who was a board member of the local organization. According to John, “It’s more than what I hoped for, it’s one of the best things in my life and I highly recommend it to others.” John, the product of a single Mom household, understood the importance he could have in Andrew’s life.

John and Andrew frequently hike the paths and trails surrounding where they live. Little Brother Andrew, a self-proclaimed science buff, can name just about every tree and plant—including being able to identify which trees and plants are native. With John’s help, Andrew even became one of the few Boy Scouts in the country to complete every activity in his handbook.

According to Margaret, she has seen a remarkable change in Andrew since his first meeting with John. “I understand that at age 11 Andrew is still finding himself. However, he is communicating much better and is more confident when speaking.” Andrew has even decided he wants to follow in his parent’s footsteps and join the military one day.

Margaret is grateful that Andrew has respect for John and what he says. The most important endorsement comes from Andrew himself who says, “… we will be friends forever!


The Perfect Match

Deva and Zorina have formed a lasting bond.

Deva and ZorinaRaising ten children isn’t always easy. That is why mom Shenika reached out to Big Brothers Big Sisters for help. Shenika now calls the match between her daughter Deva and Big Sister Zorina a “perfect match.”

Little Sister Deva was a shy 6th grader when she first met her Big Sister Zorina. Deva, a self-described tomboy, enjoyed skating and swimming with siblings, but also needed individual attention and guidance.

In the four years since first being matched, Big Sister Zorina has achieved her goal of wanting to make a difference in the community. She first became interested in Big Brothers Big Sisters when she was shopping and overheard some young girls misbehaving. Zorina wants to help Little Sister Deva think of helping her Mom and others, not just herself. “I always discuss college with Deva because I see the potential in her. I’ve seen her blossom in the past few years and it’s very rewarding.”

In fact, Deva recently won a scholarship to an all girls boarding school in her city. She is the first in her family to receive an academic scholarship and, if she does well, might pave the way for her younger sisters to attend one day. Zorina is committed to helping her Little Sister achieve her personal goals of attending Harvard University, and eventually going to Law School.

Despite changes in their lives—Deva is now at boarding school and Zorina recently married – these two self-proclaimed friends continue to make time to for each other and their special Big Sister—Little Sister relationship. Both Shenika and Zorina value the input and participation of their Big Brothers Big Sisters Match Support Specialist, Umecka, whom they both describe as “wonderful” and will help this perfect match continue into the future.