In the 6 years Tandra and Little Sister Gabby have been matched, Tandra has been incredibly consistent. She rarely misses a week with Gabby and is always there should she need anything at all. Tandra has been such a great support not only for Gabby, but also her mother, Addie. Tandra was intentional in creating a great relationship with Addie to make sure she was providing Gabby with the best possible support.
Tandra has always made Gabby’s schoolwork and attitude a priority while making sure that Gabby was able to still be a kid and enjoy new things and fun activities after hard work is done. Tandra is also incredibly giving and thoughtful. Every year they celebrate Gabby’s birthday, Addie’s birthday, and Christmas all together. Tandra has modeled to Gabby how hard work pays off and the importance of being involved in the community. As a huge supporter of the BBBSKC mission through Bowl for Kids’ Sake, fundraising, and now as a BBBSKC board member, Tandra works to defend not only Gabby’s potential, but all kids in Kansas City!
From Gabby's mother: "Tandra never ceases to amaze me with how big her heart can get when it comes to caring about others. She manages to never hesitate to step in when needed, doesn't question or second-guess any decisions being made, and she is always there as an extra supportive hand. She goes out of her way to make sure my daughter and myself have everything we need. With an easy soul as fine as gold, we are so blessed to have her be a part of our lives and a part of our family. Tandra believes wholeheartedly that with just a little extra time and care from someone, it can make a world of difference in our lives and in the lives of others. I have to say that we are a testimony that that is true. She deserves this more than anyone I know, she’s truly the best!"
From Little Sister Gabby: "For the past 6 years, Tandra has done so much for me and has supported everything that I've wanted to do. Tandra has done so many nice things for me I never expected her to do, but she did them because of her big heart. She has given me personal experiences and unforgettable memories. She has helped me with my studies, which keeps me on track. She makes me feel like a ball of joy and she tells me that I give the same to her. I am forever grateful to have her in my life — she has made a world of difference and I love her."
Jasmine is someone who leads by example. Throughout the years, Little Sister Kaliyah has come to depend on Jasmine for support in all areas of her life. Academically, Jasmine is involved in Kaliyah's schoolwork, projects, and events at school. She encourages her to do and be her best at all times. They also go to the library often and study together. Behaviorally, she instills in Kaliyah that your attitude can determine your altitude.
Additionally, Jasmine is constantly thinking of Little Sister Kaliyah's well-being and how she can help her have a better future. For example, Kaliyah recently started to show a true passion for volleyball and became interested in a club team to help enhance her craft. Jasmine spent her own time to reach out to different teams, coaches, and organizations to find a spot for Kaliyah. After finding a club team they were interested in, Jasmine volunteered to pay for a portion of the tuition so Kaliyah could be a part of the program. That's the type of selfless Big she has been for Kaliyah: steadfast, loyal, and driven to provide Kaliyah with the same opportunities she had.
From Kaliyah's mother: "What would we do without Jasmine? I don't even want to imagine. I trust her with my life and my child's life. My family considers Jasmine as family. Jasmine endlessly gives herself, her time, her resources, and her knowledge. She considers Kaliyah's spot in life and adapts accordingly for school, home, recreation, and fun time. She advises me on every project or event they attend. We love her and I believe that she loves us. Thank God for Jasmine and Kaliyah's relationship — it means the world to me that in Jasmine, Kaliyah has found true friendship, mentorship, and relationship."
From Little Sister Kaliyah: "Jasmine is my Big Sister in every sense of the word. She supports, spends time with, and looks out for me. I can talk to Jasmine about anything, and she listens. When I tell my friends about Jasmine, they become jealous. I wouldn't trade Jasmine for anyone. She knows me, what I like, and how I feel. I love her and she loves me, and nobody can change that. For life."
Carie cares deeply for not only Little Sister Ceazia, but for Ceazia's whole family. She shows her dedication to Ceazia's well-being and success through both her actions and her words. She has open lines of communication with Ceazia's mother and is always available to talk to Ceazia if she reaches out. There is so much respect present in her relationship with both Ceazia and Ceazia's mom.
Carie is an extremely dedicated Big Sister. Ceazia recently started learning a new instrument, the clarinet. Carie has been very supportive of this and has even been able to help Ceazia practice because Carie herself used to play the clarinet. Ceazia, with Carie's support, learned how to play clarinet very quickly and recently even taught herself how to play a song without sheet music. Carie has helped Ceazia become more social and learn how to open up and express herself more.
From Ceazia's mother: "Carie has helped Ceazia transition from elementary school to middle school and has helped provide and find resources for Ceazia along the way. Carie has been a huge supporter of Ceazia playing basketball this year and is also very supportive of Ceazia playing the clarinet. She treats Ceazia as her own. I can call Carie if there's ever an issue and let her know, and Carie will reach out to Ceazia and help her work through it. I know that Carie works through those issues with Ceazia because Ceazia always comes home happier, and things always improve after Carie talks with Ceazia. She has definitely made such a huge positive impact as a mentor, a friend, and as the positive role model that Ceazia needs."
From Little Sister Ceazia: "Carie is the type of person who you can tell anything to and she won’t get mad — she’ll actually listen. If you want her to say something about what you're telling her, she’ll say something, but it won’t be negative. She’s a very positive person and doesn’t like negativity. She's very caring, kind, smart, and intelligent."