Little Kenya and Big Flo have been matched since February of 2016. They started as a Site-Based match at a local school. When Kenya was suddenly transferred to a different school, Flo and their Match Support Specialist got permission for the match to continue at Kenya’s new school. Flo traveled almost an hour each week to continue her visits with Kenya. And when Flo was traveling abroad for work, she made sure to call Kenya on Saturdays and check-in with Kenya’s mom frequently.
When Flo’s work schedule changed in 2018, she couldn’t continue seeing Kenya during the week. Still, Flo felt that since the match had been together for a long time already, they were ready to transition to the Community-Based program. And Kenya’s mom agreed. Kenya’s Match Support Specialist met her at school to talk about going from Site-Based to Community-Based, and Kenya was so thrilled. “I remember how big her eyes got with excitement!”
Kenya and Flo have been taking full advantage of all the events BBBS offers for our Community-Based program. They have visited our partners at the YMCA several times, where Kenya got to work on her swimming skills. They’ve participated in The Night of Confidence Building with Reach Services and Pinellas Community Church, shopped for Christmas gifts for Kenya’s family thanks to TQL, attended the annual Holiday Skating Party, and much more. The photo above is from the Mike Alstott Football and Cheerleading camp.
They have continued to stay in touch throughout the pandemic by calling and texting each other every Saturday. Kenya has felt overwhelmed at times but always keeps a smile on her face. Her strength and optimism come from the influence of her wonderful Big Sister, Flo.