Fourteen-year-old Vejea was matched with her Big Sister Claudia six years ago. Since that time, Vejea has blossomed from a shy girl into a graceful, thoughtful, and ambitious young woman. The positive, encouraging relationship she has with her Big Sister has made her confidence soar. Claudia admires Vejea greatly and says she most enjoys “her spirit, energy, and positive attitude. No matter what is going on in her life, Vejea is always put together and looking forward.”
Vejea says that Claudia has taught her to be positive about herself and to “not let others get me down.”
Together they have developed a strong and wonderful bond.
Vejea came into Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring program at the recommendation of her mother Shirley. Shirley wanted another positive influence in her daughter’s life. Vejea was looking for someone to do fun things with. She also wanted someone who would “care about her.” Shirley and Vejea found just that in Claudia.
Vejea and Claudia complement each other beautifully and have a wonderful rapport. While Vejea is contemplative and thoughtful, Claudia is exuberant and passionate. Claudia has said her match with Vejea is one of the bright spots in her life. Her professional background is in education, so she has helped instill in Vejea the value of educational success. Their match has a strong emphasis on learning, and they often talk about skills that are important in the classroom – self-advocacy and communication. They share a journal and pass it back and forth, writing stories and sharing special moments. Claudia also used her educational expertise to help Vejea’s family navigate the difficult Open Enrollment process, and Vejea was accepted into one of her top high school choices.
Claudia has shown Vejea the delights of Milwaukee, the road to higher education, the path of self-discovery and growth, and so much more. They continue to work on areas of self-improvement and strive to achieve success in all areas of life. Congratulations Vejea and Claudia on being our 2016-17 Sister Match of the Year!
Hear from Claudia and Vejea in their own words:
Matches of the Year
Each year we celebrate the positive impact of mentoring relationships by selecting an outstanding Big Brother/Little Brother match and Big Sister/Little Sister match. Our Matches of the Year represent hundreds of wonderful Bigs and Littles involved in our programs, and help us by being ambassadors for mentoring throughout the year.
Matches are selected based on the following criteria:
• the length of the match
• the strength of the relationship between the Big and Little
• demonstrated success in achieving positive outcomes