Zaylah and Brittany
Big Sister Brittany and Little Sister Zaylah have been matched for almost 6 years now, since Zaylah was just a shy little second grader! Zaylah’s mom enrolled Zaylah in our program to ensure that she “stayed a kid as long as possible” because, as a young mother, she felt the importance of not growing up too quickly. Zaylah’s mom was also eager to surround Zaylah with as many positive female role models as possible, as she herself had only brothers to look up to when she was a child.
Brittany seemed like a great match to help Zaylah and her mom achieve their goals. Brittany grew up in the foster care system looking out for her younger siblings, and because of this, she also felt like she had to become an adult at too young an age. A former Little Sister, Brittany believes BBBS helped her when she was a child, and she was ready to give back to the program by helping Zaylah become a strong, independent woman like herself.
Over the course of past 6 years, these “best sisters ever” (as they call themselves) have been able to experience so much together. In between having fun doing things like watching movies, visiting zoos, and going to the park, Brittany helps Zaylah with her homework and works with her on effective communication skills. They continue to be one of our most active matches in attendance at our BBBS events. They come to everything: picnics, arts and crafts nights, community service clean ups, Tiger’s games, Detroit Zoo trips, UofM softball games, and more! Watching their relationship grow into a true sisterhood has been wonderful to witness!
Brittany overcame a lot in her past and has a bright future ahead of her. She recently graduated from college, and her Little Sister Zaylah was there to witness her walk across the stage! Brittany has inspired not only BBBS staff but also Zaylah, as well. Zaylah says that the best thing about Brittany is that she is protective of her and always makes sure she is safe and having fun. But Zaylah’s mom thinks that the best part about the match is how much confidence Brittany instills in Zaylah. We know that confidence is a great indicator of making good choices and doing well in school, so Brittany’s impact on Zaylah will no doubt continue for a long time.
Zaylah was even confident enough to agree to be our featured speaker along with Brittany at our upcoming Rise and Shine for Kids’ Sake event. Rise and Shine is a one hour, mission driven event, where the community can hear from our matches, both on stage and in video, of the impact that matches are making in their community. This year we will also hear from Red Berenson – the legendary UM Hockey coach, who himself has helped to mentor and mold so many young men!
Rise and Shine will be on Giving Tuesday, November 28th from 8-9am at Barton Hills Country Club. There is no cost to attend, but donations will be collected at the event. We hope that folks are inspired to become donors, Bigs, and advocates for BBBS in the community.