Former Big Sister Clare:
I first met Courtney on a hot summer day in August of 2002. She was just 9 years old, had short blonde hair and armfuls of kittens. I felt an instant connection to this lovely, kind-hearted, and sweet natured little girl. At first our relationship was about going swimming, baking, watching movies, eating meals. . . But over the years as Courtney grew-up we spent just about all of our time together just talking. I was able to see her as a peer, friend, mentor, and not just a little girl that I was matched with. I admired her insights, maturity, gentleness and sincere desire to be a helpful and loving friend, daughter, sister, and granddaughter.
Courtney has had to overcome innumerable obstacles in her life. Every time, she manages to find the strength to not only cope, but to turn the challenges into experiences, that make her a stronger, more resilient and empathetic person. With all of the ups and downs of life, she has not become a victim – she is a determined young woman, who will accomplish all she sets out to in life.
I had the immense privileged of being with Courtney when she delivered her daughter Mya. I have never been so proud or amazed. For such a young mother to remain calm, collected, and stoical at such a stressful and emotional and physically trying time, made me certain that she had just what it takes to make a good life for her and her daughter.
My relationship with Courtney has been a blessing in so many ways. I have been able to help her see what a phenomenally beautiful woman she is both inside and out. There is no better feeling in the world than knowing that just by loving someone and letting them know how proud you are of them, that you are having a positive impact on their lives. I love and admire Courtney with all of my heart. She is one of the most impressive people I know and I just can’t imagine who I would be without her.
Former Little Sister Courtney:
Clare and I have been matched for about 9 years. I have been greatly impacted by having her in my life. She helped me realize how much potential I have and how truly beautiful I am. When I first met Clare I felt about 1 foot tall. I had low self-esteem and I was being bullied every day at school. Now with her on-going support and praise, I feel bigger than life. She reminds me how well I’m doing with handling everything going on in my life. She showers me with pride when I tell her about my daughter’s progress in gaining weight. Clare prepared me to be a mother, either by giving me boxes of diapers or bags of clothes, or giving me pep talks when she took me out to lunch or even just through texts to help keep my mind off the fear of being a single mother in today’s world.
I had to spend the night in hospital before I had Mya, (my daughter), and I was scared, I've never been in a hospital alone until that day and there were complications arising in my pregnancy. I was sitting alone and then I heard her voice asking the nurse where to find me. She was the 1st person there to see me. Clare was there for me throughout my entire pregnancy, labour, and continues to support me through motherhood.
She is my mentor, my role model, and has truly taken the role as my sister. I watched her get married, have 2 beautiful children, and excel in her career. Clare does everything in her power to help people succeed in their goals. She is strong, more caring than anyone I know, and incredibly thoughtful and considerate. I can’t imagine what life would be like without her, I know I wouldn’t be half the mother and person I am today.
I would love to thank everyone in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization for starting such a great program and letting me be a part of it. I am very interested in continuing my involvement, hopefully someday as a Big Sister. I strongly encourage anybody interested, the bond you gain will last a life time.
I'd also like to thank my Big Sister Clare just for being you. I can’t imagine how I could have gone through my struggles of life without you. I love you soo much and words can’t even start explaining how grateful I am to have such a awesome person like you.