Larisa is outgoing, loving and giggly. Her mother, Lorrayne, saw both of her sisters benefit from the program as children. “Their friendships have lasted into adulthood and one is still friends with her Big Sister over 20 years later,” Lorrayne says. “My daughter needed a good role model in her life.” After her mother enrolled her in the program, Larisa was soon matched with Yvonne in July 2013, and felt that her Big Sister was kind and understanding.
Yvonne became a volunteer after watching her daughter work for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Their connection was instant, and they have built an incredible relationship in almost five years and enjoy drawing, watching movies together, going to the zoo, eating sushi and sewing. “Larisa delights me,” Yvonne says. “She cares about people, and she loves animals and language. She is teaching herself art and Japanese.”
Larisa and her mom feel the same way about Yvonne, who has become an integral part of both of their lives. “Larisa has learned many great things and had fabulous experiences in the program,” Lorrayne says. “She has learned cooking and sewing and is braver and bolder about doing things now.” Larisa and Yvonne have even been known to have matching Halloween costumes that they sewed themselves.
Lorrayne is truly grateful for the care and dedication Yvonne has taken in mentoring her daughter. “They go to the zoo and horse shows to encourage Larisa’s love of animals and her desire to become a vet,” she says. “They have also gone to a farm to interact with the animals! Yvonne fills the gaps where I am not able to do things with Larisa. Big Brothers Big Sisters could not have picked a better match for Larisa. I can’t imagine that anyone has done as much as Yvonne has for her Little Sister!”