Big Sister Ann & Little Sister Fatou

Ann & Fatou

For some Matches, there isn’t always an immediate spark – connection takes time. That was the case for Big Sister Ann and Little Sister Fatou. When the pair were first matched in 2012, Ann never knew quite where she stood with her Little Sister. Fatou was reserved, giving one-word answers to Ann’s questions. But Fatou kept showing up each Friday, so Ann did, too. Eleven years later? They’re still showing up for each other, and both are changed for the better:

Little Sister Fatou: “When I first met Ann, I was shy and wouldn’t say much. But now, I have someone in my life who I can confide in, ask for help with school, talk about my day, even get fashion advice. I love how she comes to my basketball games and is always there to cheer me on.” 

Big Sister Ann: “Over the years, which today seem like days, I witnessed a shy little girl who struggled at school become a confident young woman who is college-bound this year. Fatou needed another person to talk to, share stories, and troubleshoot problems with. We talked about her friends and academics. I’ve seen her grow up (quite literally, she is almost 6 inches taller than me now), become more confident, learn to assert her boundaries, and stand up for herself. She has thrived in high school during these unprecedented times. Two years ago, we discussed her attending a two-year tech college program and maybe transferring to a four-year college to finish out her education. This year, our girl is going to UW – Platteville to major in Elementary Education.”

“Fatou and Ann have been paired since 2012 when Fatou was in 2nd grade. I consider her part of our family. Ann attends all of Fatou’s important school and life events: she attended her IEP meetings and provided input, she goes to her sports games and went homecoming dress shopping, she did college visits with us, and she even went with her to senior night while I was visiting The Gambia. Ann’s influence and support have had a huge impact on Fatou and her siblings’ education. Fatou used to say ‘I hate school,’ but that all changed when she got to know Ann. Today, she was accepted to four different colleges.”
– Fatou’s mom, Teddy

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