BBBSWNC congratulates this year’s batch of extraordinary Littles who have graduated from high school.
Kyla Cline (photo at right), who became a Little through BBBS Burke County, graduated from Newton-Conover High School in Catawba County on May 26. Big Sister Kathy Peters (right) has been a great support to Kyla, BBBS Burke Program Coordinator Emilie Jacumin-Simmons said. Kyla recently finished her nursing clinicals at Abernethy Laurels, a retirement community in Newton, and has decided to go to Catawba Valley Community College this fall and study to become an esthetician.
“Kyla is a very busy young woman,” Emilie said. Kyla’s mother Shetayga Cline (left) recently wrote to Kathy, telling her “you have been a blessing to our family and will always be a part of us. You have always been there, no matter what the situation was, and we love you and appreciate everything.”
Chance Fox is graduating from Owen High School on June 10. Mark Manual, who has been Chance’s Big for eight and half years, has been helping Chance figure out what he wants to do next. The two Black Mountain residents have talked about Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and about the summer job Chance hopes to land prior to whatever happens in the fall.
Mark has loved being Chance’s Big. “I probably got more out of it than he has,” he said. “It’s fun to be around young people and find out what’s going on in their world. My wife and I have benefited greatly from Chance and the BBBS experience.”
Together Mark and Chance have done things that Mark likely wouldn’t have done himself, Mark said, like visit a trampoline park. “It’s been delightful,” Mark said. “I’m sure we’ll remain friends.”
Courtney Fisher (at right), a Burke County Little, graduated from Fred T Foard High School May 25. Undecided about her next steps, she will probably go to Catawba Valley Community College or Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, BBBS Burke Program Coordinator Emilie Jacumin-Simmons said. Courtney’s Big is April Nelson, who works at Catawba Valley Community College “and is cheering Courtney on in her future endeavors,” Emilie said.
Brenda Sebrian-Diaz, a Little Sister from Burke County, will graduate from Freedom High School in Morganton on June 9. She’s been matched for years with Big Sister Luanne Deal, who says she is so proud of everything Brenda has accomplished. This fall, Brenda will start at Guilford College in Greensboro. Luanne, who said that she and Brenda will stay in touch, said she has been enjoying getting Brenda lots of little things for her college dorm room.
Ivy Oviedo, a Polk County High School graduate (at right), has overcome many hurdles and obstacles while navigating the challenges of high school. She plans to study cosmetology in the near future.
“It has been an honor watching Ivy grow into a caring, young adult over the past four years,” Big Sister Veronica Hassig said. “I’m proud of the person she is becoming and look forward to supporting her in future endeavors. I have no doubt she’s ready to tackle the next chapter in this crazy world.”
BBBS Polk Program Coordinator Jessica Toney said Ivy is a hard worker who is determined to be an independent person.
“Talking with Ivy, you will quickly see she has a good hold on how things are in this world,” Jessica said. “She understands you have to work hard for your money and is humbled by what it takes to make a good future for yourself.”
Jessica has no doubt that Ivy will reach her goals. “Congratulations Ivy,” Big Sister Veronica says.
Noah Ramm of Buncombe County graduated from Asheville High School and is headed to Appalachian State University.
Congrats also goes to Zy Gaines of Buncombe County and Mercedes McLaughlin of Cashiers-Highlands. And also to Dylan Jackson of Swain County, who graduated in December 2022.