Navigating the Rough Waters of Adolescence

Big Sister Sam and Little Sister Alana

Big Sister Sam and Little Sister Alana

Growing up, Big Sister Sam always envisioned herself helping children when she got older.

In high school, she worked in a program where she spent time with a child with special needs every other week. She still keeps in touch with families she babysat for when she was in college.

“The desire to take care of children and help those who may not be as fortunate has been a true passion my entire life,” Sam says.

When she graduated college, she wanted to continue helping children, so she volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and was matched with Little Sister Alana.

“Spending quality time with such a beautiful young soul has brought happiness, more responsibility and maturity to my life.”

– Big  Sister Sam

Alana’s father was raising her alone, and signed her up to become a Little Sister because he wanted her to have a positive female role model.

During the first match meeting, Alana and her father felt like Sam was the “perfect” Big Sister for Alana. Sam says she felt like Alana was a “mini-me” of her.

“She seemed instantly comfortable with me, as I was with her,” Sam says. “We both shared a love for singing, acting, cooking, going to the beach, and swimming.”

In the five years they have been matched, they have gone to the beach to exercise on the boardwalk, decorated cakes at Carlos’ Bake Shop, and sung duets at karaoke. They have also embraced adventure. To celebrate a match anniversary, they went to the Delaware Water Gap to go whitewater rafting. “We got to swim in the river and we even stopped on a little island and saw baby frogs,” Alana says.

Big Sister Sam and Little Sister Alana have had fun throughout their match, but they have also accomplished a lot together. Sam helped Alana land a summer job, taught her how to open up a bank account, and explored colleges with her.

With Sam’s guidance, Alana saved enough money to buy her first car and pay her own monthly insurance.

Alana’s future looks bright. She is poised to find her own passion and graduate from college just like her Big Sister. She has a stack of acceptance letters and some big decisions ahead.

“She has given me such good advice and does all she can to help me and support me,” Alana says. “She is my best friend and I hope that she is someone that is a part of my life for a long time.”

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