Kelly has been matched with her Little Sister Jamyla for 3.5 years. She was nominated by Dominique, Jamyla’s mom:
Early on, Ms. Kelly was fully engaged in Jamyla’s education. She found community resources that were less expensive or free and shared the information with me, helping us find a tutoring program that would allow Jamyla to become more confident in her math facts. Ms. Kelly even offered to provide support to Jamyla with academic work. She implemented fun activities that encouraged Jamyla to want to be engaged in learning, and would incorporate things like reading and math into their time together. Even now, she continues to go above and beyond to help Jamyla with her reading skills.
During the pandemic, Ms. Kelly would drop off activities to Jamyla at the doorstep. The one day that really made me realize how much of an amazing person Ms. Kelly was is when she was playing in front of the house with Jamyla, and some neighborhood kids came around the house. I was cleaning my home, and when I looked out of the window, Ms. Kelly had all of the kids playing a game together. She has played dolls with Jamyla and her friend. She has sat in front of the house and read books with the kids in the neighborhood. Ms. Kelly does all that she can to ensure that her time spent with Jamyla is memorable for Jamyla.
Ms. Kelly has always met Jamyla where she is at throughout the years. During the wake of George Floyd’s death, Ms. Kelly saw how important the movement was to Jamyla. She supported Jamyla in every way, showing cultural humility, compassion for Jamyla as an individual, and open-mindedness. Ms. Kelly has been very involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, and has been intentional about her showing up as an ally for Jamyla.
Ms. Kelly continually supports Jamyla’s passions, pushes her to explore her interests, and helps her gain access to new experiences. Ms. Kelly encourages Jamyla to go for what she wants, whether it’s basketball or track & field, or a new business venture. Jamyla has truly gained a greater sense of confidence since connecting with Ms. Kelly.
Ms. Kelly is our family now. Beyond this program, Ms. Kelly will always be our family. She is understanding, compassionate, and thoughtful. She is very comfortable in our environment which makes it much easier for us to be authentic and transparent in her presence. She cares for Jamyla holistically and always has her best interests at heart.