Makalia is a 14-year-old young lady who first was enrolled in our School Based program, but then transitioned to Community Based when we transitioned out of doing SB. She was a shy little girl. During the initial interview, when she was 10, she took quite a bit of coaxing to get her to answer questions and get comfortable with the idea of having a Big Sister.
Lori is a Video Producer, who worked at Cartoon Network in Atlanta before moving back to Michigan to be closer to family. She had some experience with kids, but not a lot, and is a self-described introvert.
The good news is that these ladies are two peas in a pod. Makalia loves sketching and is a part of the anime club at school, and Lori is such a creative person. We have been so excited to watch their relationship grow…and have had an amazing front row seat. They’ve been doing lots of simple low-key activities, as they have gotten to know one another over the last 8 months! They’ve gone bowling, walked around the mall, out to eat and love to bake and cook….even making their own miso soup. Yum!
Like I said, we’ve had a front row seat to this match, as they’ve come to several of our group events. At Rec Night, they had a blast swimming in the pool at the Meri Lou Rec Center....and recently enjoyed a tour of campus at our College Campus Day at Washtenaw Community College. But I think our favorite time spent with this match was at the Heidelberg Project in Detroit. We loaded a bus of Bigs and Littles, along with Makalia and Lori, and headed downtown to check out the amazing art that is the Heidelberg. Trey, the artist, gave the matches a tour and talked about his work and its’ meaning. Makalia said that going on the tour and talking to Trey encouraged her to be her ‘authentic self’.
Mom, Lori and her Mentoring Specialist, Ashley, have all noted that her confidence has blossomed through these activities and her connecting to other Littles in the program. And Lori loves spending time with Makalia – she says that she’s fun, upbeat and says that her time with Makalia is a nice change of pace from her day-to-day life. Two lives, both changed, because of their newfound friendship…Oh the Places They’ll Go!!
Changing Lives-- One Story at a Time.