Match Story: Little Sister Kieliaa and Big Sister Keisha

Little Sister Kieliaa, 15, and Big Sister Keisha were matched in September 2017. Part of Keisha’s inspiration to become a Big was her career with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. “Working in my field, I wanted to see if I could make a difference in someone else’s life from a young age and not once they are an adult and spending time at the jail,” says Keisha.

Kieliaa and her mom, Boschnee, both truly admire Keisha’s work with the Sheriff’s Office. “To have a Big Sister that is a sheriff’s officer is pretty COOL!” says Kieliaa. “I like that she helps people in different ways doing what she does. At first it intimidated me. But now, I don’t really see her as just an officer. She’s my Big Sister. She’s one of my best friends and
someone I can turn to about anything.”

“In the beginning I think I was a little concerned of being judged,” says Boschnee. “Because at that time in our lives my
kids were starting to act out behaviorally. I am a single mom raising two teenagers now. Over time I learned that I could reach out [to Keisha] about my concerns regarding Kieliaa, and that she wouldn’t hold it against me or Kieliaa. She is here to help and be the best role model she can be for my child. We have gotten really close over the years! She is family and we are extremely grateful for everything she has done for us. Words could never express how truly blessed we are.”

As the years have passed, these two have truly become inseparable. “I love Keisha’s compassion and understanding,”
says Kieliaa. “There have been many situations where I have needed to vent and she has accepted me without
limitations or judgement.” Kieliaa and Keisha can often be found trying new foods and activities. They enjoy making
zucchini bread, going to museums, hiking, doing arts and crafts, and attending events like the Great Reno Balloon Race.

“[From my Big Sister,] I have learned to be more patient with myself and others,” says Kieliaa. “As well as how to love
and respect myself. While I am always a work in progress, I believe [Big Brothers Big Sisters] has impacted me for the
better.” Kieliaa is already quite the impressive young lady, as she is the only girl on her high school’s all-male tackle
football team, and was captain of her basketball team this year. She wants to teach her Big Sister as much as she has
learned, and says she could show her some basketball skills. “I think I could school her in it!” she says.

The COVID-19 pandemic was difficult for children, including Kieliaa. “My Big helped me get through the pandemic,” she says. “She checked on me and my family all the time. While the world was changing, she stayed a constant in my life and I appreciate her even more for that.” “Kieliaa teaches me about resilience,” Keisha adds. “I have watched her mature into a beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, and confident young lady in the face of many adversities.”

“It is pretty amazing to have such a strong and compassionate individual like Keisha be a part of Kieliaa’s journey in life,” says Boschnee. “She is always there supporting her in any way she can. Keisha has always been there through the ugly and the pretty. We appreciate everyone that is a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. You may never fully comprehend the positive impact you have on so many lives. Providing the companionship to children who need
it is an amazing thing to do in life.”

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