Their story begins with Emma and Tanaiya excited to finally meet each other in the fall of 2019. As a first grade student, Tanaiya was eager to meet her new best friend, Emma. As a freshman at High Point University, Emma was motivated to serve youth as a mentor through our site based program. Big Sister and Little Sister held a strong desire to be connected to a new friend. Following their initial match meeting, Emma demonstrated consistently and dedication to her weekly visits with Tanaiya at Parkview Village Elementary. Furthermore, the pandemic did not get in the way of visits thanks to FaceTime. Four years strong, Big and Little are now connected through our community based program.
As a Little, Tanaiya shares that Emma is truly family. She knows she is already a little sister at home. But, her relationship with Emma feels different because she has someone she can trust and rely on. “Emma has made me a part of her life and we feel so comfortable together. I am able to tell her about why I am happy and then when I’m worried. I have someone special to turn to in addition to my mom.” Tanaiya shares that she does have a vision of continuing her success in school that includes attending college and this is because she’s watched Emma do it herself!
For Emma, serving as a mentor through BBBS has been one of the most rewarding aspects of her college experience. Spending time with Tanaiya is one of her favorite parts of each week. They enjoy reading together, playing at the park, going out to eat, or even just FaceTiming. Emma shares, “One thing that surprised me about being a Big Sister for Tanaiya is the impact that our relationship has had on my life. We have shared a special bond from the beginning. Furthermore, it has been so special to watch her grow and blossom into the remarkable student and person she is today. I am so thankful to be part of her journey.”
Tanaiya’s mother feels strongly that the Big Brothers Big Sisters program has made a positive difference for her family. She holds a trusting relationship with Emma. With a busy workload and taking care of the entire family, Taniaya’s mother knows Emma can fill in gaps and be there for her daughter. She is especially proud of the ease with which Emma and Tanaiya are connected; there is love, trust, and respect. There are no barriers or walls to cross!
Emma shares, “If you are looking for a way to make an impact on your local community, BBBS is one of the most rewarding. I never knew that serving as a volunteer would bring me so much more than a bullet point on a resume. The relationship and bond I share with my Little Sister is something that I will cherish for a lifetime, and I am so lucky to have another sister in my family.”