This story was written by Karen Darcy, program coordinator at Polk BBBS.
Little Sister Vicky and her Big Sister Monica Jones were matched in Polk County when Vicky was in the second grade.
Transferring from a school match to the traditional program allowed Monica to provide more opportunity for Vicky, exposing her to theater, the arts, swimming, dining out, and volunteering together in the community. Monica wanted Vicky to believe that she could be everything she wanted to be, noting “I hope I’ve helped along the way, but she deserves all the credit for the wonderful young woman she is now.”
Vicky’s mom has a great appreciation for her daughter’s Big Sister and credits her with a lot of Vicky’s social and personal development. Mom admitted that without the opportunities provided through BBBS, Vicky’s experience would have been far more limited. She says Vicky now has mature political and cultural opinions.
Vicky has developed into a poised, confident, caring young lady with a long list of accomplishments, including high school senior class president, student body president, National Honor Society, chair of the yearbook committee, chair of the prom committee, swim team, and 200 hours of volunteer experiences while in high school.
The match continued in the “graduate match phase,” a pilot program in Polk County’s BBBS for the first year following high school for Littles enrolled in college. Monica and Vicky stayed in close contact throughout the year, with Monica visiting Vicky at her college campus and anytime Vicky came home. The match concluded in August 2017, just two months shy of 11 years together.
With a full ride to Appalachian State University as one of six Wilson Scholars, Vicky is now in her senior year of studying International Relations and Criminal Justice, with a minor in Arabic/Middle Eastern Studies. So far she has had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and other locations, and to study abroad in London. Vicky would like to work in the human trafficking department of the FBI or SBI, or as an intelligence analyst and writer for the CIA.
Both Monica and Vicky say they will be connected for life.