It was exactly as they expected. Big Sister Tevlyn and Little Sister Briana both knew what they wanted when they were first matched. Six years later, their friendship still lives up to their expectations.
“I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and Big Brothers Big Sisters just sounded really appealing,” said Trevlyn. “I was excited about the chance to form a connection with someone and to become lifelong friends and sisters – exactly as we have done.”
Little Sister Briana echoed the sentiment. “I like that I am able to have a best friend, and someone I can hang out with a lot.”
Seeing the joy on their faces when together, it’s not surprising the two have always been close. Through the years they’ve shared many adventures while exploring all the different experiences Austin has to offer. One special activity has turned into a tradition for the pair. “Most summers we’ve gone to the Zilker outdoor theater and seen the summer musical,” said Trevlyn. “It’s been fun to sit in the front row and watch the singing and dancing and see the costumes.”
Briana’s favorite outings are going to see movies, but she does remember one special event they attended after being matched. “We went to the circus and that was really cool,” she said.
A more recent outing was to a Round Rock Express baseball game, where Briana was the recipient of a Minor League Baseball Rising Star scholarship check. The pair were joined by friends and family as Briana got to throw out the “first pitch” of the game. Briana will use the scholarship money to further her education at the University of Houston.
“I want to become an interpreter and translator for the hearing impaired,” said Briana. “I am already taking sign language classes.”
Trevlyn has encouraged Briana with her career choice, but proudly points out that her Little Sister did all of her own research regarding post-secondary education. “I didn’t have any experience with sign language other than a class project in high school,” said Trevlyn. “It’s something Briana pursued when she got into high school. She took classes and then started researching the colleges and universities that have good sign language programs to determine what would work best for her.”
Briana was an excellent student throughout high school. Something that was not always easy considering that she helped with her younger siblings after school when her mom worked. That is not the only responsibility Briana has taken upon her young shoulders. She also works about 20 hours a week to contribute to her family’s finances.
Having a Big Sister to confide in and get support from has been important in Briana’s life. “Trevlyn has impacted my life a lot by helping me decide what I want to do for my career and encouraging me to do what I really love,” said Briana, “and by just being there for me when I need advice.”
Big Sister Trevlyn has also been impacted by the match. “We’ve been matched a long time. It’s something I’m very proud of, our relationship,” said Trevlyn. “I’m proud of the way we’ve gotten to know one another and each other’s families. We’ve all become really close. It’s been a really exciting and beautiful experience.”
It is an experience that will last well past Briana’s high school graduation as the two plan to be part of each other’s lives for a long time. It’s something they expected from the beginning.
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Learn more about our Game Changers program at www.gamechangersaustin.org.