In the News

Big Sisters make a differenceChristie and Justys have been matched for seven years. During that time, they have seen a lot of changes in each other. Now Christie and Justys consider one another family.

"Justys was definitely lacking confidence when I first met her," explained Big Sister Christie. "She really didn't speak to me unless I initiated the conversation and asked all the questions, and then she'd only give one word answers.

Her confidence has grown tremendously over the past seven years. She's really a chatterbox now."

Genuinely inquisitive and great at remembering details about people, Justys has taken an interest in the lives of others and now has many interests she loves to talk about. Justys also has more of a positive outlook on life, new-found self-confidence, and close friends her age.

"I feel like our friendship has influenced Justys in that I was able to introduce her to so many people of diverse backgrounds and careers who have taken a great interest in her," says Christie. "She has been able to see that what she does and thinks matters to a lot of people.

I have also been a constant in her life through some major transitions to middle school and then to high school. I've been able to recognize her strengths and see opportunities to highlight them."

Justys also stayed by Christie’s side during several life transitions of her own – supporting Christie through her pursuit of a master’s degree and both her children's births. Christie showed Justys how important she was by remaining her Big Sister even when it was a challenge to find time to meet.

"I guess I have modeled sacrifice and hard work for her," said Christie "She has become a role model for my daughters, which I believe has added to her confidence and pride."

In June, Justys graduated from the Academy of Arts, Careers and Technology (AACT), and Christie and her family attended Justys' graduation ceremony and celebration. This fall, Justys will be attending St. Augustine's University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

See photos and more from our graduation party in May. We are incredibly proud of our Littles who are graduating in 2015 -- 86% this year, compared with an 65% graduation rate for Washoe County as a whole. Find out more about the good Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada mentoring does in our community, more Real Life Stories, and how you can help.

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