In My Court
“I’ll never forget when my Big Buddy, Sarah, told me that she was pregnant. The first thing that crossed my mind was what a great mother she was going to be as she had been such a positive role model for me”, said Little Buddy Carla when I met her for a smoothie last month.
I matched Carla with her Big Buddy, Sarah Fedishen, when she was an eleven year old girl looking forward to having the same positive experiences her older sisters had at the Buddy Program.
Even though both Carla and Sarah seemed a bit nervous during their first meeting, they hit it off right away and developed and very close bond throughout the years. They have participated in numerous Buddy Program sponsored activities and events such as bowling, ski day, and our annual celebration dinners. Sarah has helped Carla build the necessary confidence to try new avenues in life, like arts and sports. For example, when Carla showed an interest in photography a couple of years ago, Sarah helped her research different photography classes and was instrumental in supporting Carla with her extra-curricular scholarship application through the Buddy Program. As Sarah stated to an Aspen Times reporter recently, “It’s been so rewarding to watch her navigate through life as she gets older. Seeing her succeed has made me very proud!”
Carla and Sarah have gone through trying times during their Buddy relationship as well. As Carla said, “During my early teens, I wasn’t sure I wanted to have a Big Buddy but I’m so thankful that Sarah was so patient during that time. Our friendship became more open and stronger because of that.” Carla talks to Sarah about her goals and aspirations as well as difficult topics and said, “I’m glad to have someone’s back at all times. Sarah is not only my Buddy but my friend; a friend who will help me get up if I fall.”
Carla met Sarah when she was in 6th grade; this coming spring, she will be graduating from High School and pursuing a career in criminal justice. I have no doubt that Sarah will be right by Carla’s side as she graduates – cheering her on and celebrating all of her accomplishments. I recently asked Sarah what she thought Carla got out of this experience and she stated, “I think she has learned that she ALWAYS has someone in her court. Someone who will not judge the situation but will only provide support and guidance. I hope she has learned that she is in a relationship where she can truly be herself and will always have unconditional love and support”.
Hats off to Carla and Sarah!