A lot can change over the course of five years. Naeema met her Big Sister, Aimee, in the fall of 2009. At the time, Naeema was 12 years old and very quiet, and Aimee had just moved to the Twin Cities for a new job. Today, Naeema is a self-assured senior in high school, and she’s looking forward to going off to college next fall. And Aimee has gotten engaged, changed jobs and adopted puppy. But through it all, one thing has stayed consistent, according to Naeema: “We are the best match ever!”
Naeema comes from a big family: two brothers, a twin sister, a younger sister and a foster brother, plus a brand new baby nephew. It’s a lot of people living under one roof, and a lot of people for her mother to look after. So one of the reasons she values having a Big Sister is that Aimee is around just for her.
“I can talk to Aimee about anything, without feeling judged,” Naeema says. “She’s always there to provide constructive feedback or just an ear to listen.”
For Aimee, being involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters has connected her with a good friend and helped her feel at home in a new city. And it’s been meaningful experience in a way no other volunteer work can be. “It makes it so easy to connect with a young person and make a small but meaningful difference,” she says.