Cathy and Naima first met in September, 2008 through Big Brothers Big Sisters. In the beginning it was all about building a friendship/trust, but now it’s about maintaining what they established five plus years ago. They spend time together every other week doing various activities in the community – visiting local parks, swimming, walking the dog and baking.

Naima was a young six year old being raised by her grandparents when our agency was suggested as a resource for the family. Being an older couple dealing with financial and health issues, her grandparents wanted someone special to come along beside Naima and provide positive influence. Neither of her parents has been able to care for their daughter as needed due to many unfortunate circumstances including incarceration and it was left up to extended family to step in and pick up the pieces.

Today, Naima is an honor roll student at a local middle school who now takes care of her grandparents as they so lovingly looked after her. Time with her big sister Cathy is highly anticipated as each outing draws near and is something not taken for granted. She recently stated at a United Way rally that “life would not be the same without Cathy”. That “Cathy has made a difference in my life”.

Cathy feels blessed to have developed a relationship with someone who outside of our program she otherwise would never have met. A Doctorate Physical Therapy Candidate at Winston-Salem State University, Cathy has plans to continue being a positive force in Naima’s life for years to come.

In November, Cathy was presented with the 2013 Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont Big Of The Year Award.