They met as strangers 13 years ago. Now, they are sisters.

Leslie Parker has been involved with BBBS for 13 years. Leslie says, “I joined the program because a friend of mine was a BBBS employee and she encouraged me to get involved.” After joining, she was matched with Kathlene, who was 10 years old. They have been sisters ever since.

Leslie moved to Muncie from Florida to be closer to family. Because Leslie was new to the area, having a Little Sister to explore with was helpful. She explains, “I joined BBBS when I first moved to the area. My Little and I explored the city.  It was fun to have someone to do things with, and it helped me acclimate to my new surroundings.” They rode bikes on the Greenway, walked around Minetrista, played putt-putt and went to basketball games at Ball State.

When asked how she saw Kathlene change throughout the match, she replied, “My Little has gone through adolescence to high school graduation to graduating from a specialty school.  I am so proud of the young woman that she has become. She is goal-oriented and is much more confident than the shy 10 year old I met years ago.”

Not only did the mentoring relationship change Kathlene, it also changed Leslie. “We have been through a lot together and I think that has taught me patience and increased my problem solving skills.”

At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we hope to have an impact on the children we serve, but we also hope that our volunteers walk away changed for the better because of their experience. Leslie and Kathlene’s relationship is a beautiful example of the long lasting impact mentoring can have on a child and volunteer. As a final testament to their match, Leslie declared, “I am thankful that we still have a very active relationship. We are true sisters!”

If you know someone who needs a Big Sister in their life or you are interested in becoming a Big Sister click the Get Involved tab at the top of the website. We look forward to hearing from you!