Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont announced their “Big of the Year” award at the annual Caring for Kids fundraising event, “The BIG Magic Gala: Over the Rainbow,” at Embassy Suites in Greensboro on Saturday, January 28th, 2017. Tess Paratory was named the “Big of the Year” based on a nomination from her Match Support Specialist, Marie Hopper and her Little Sister’s father.
Every once in a while two people meet and it is like they were meant to be part of one another’s lives. There is a mutual respect and admiration that occurs, as well as a desire to help elevate one another. That is the exact situation with this year’s Big of the Year and her Little.
Tess Paratory and Little Sister Nicole met in April 2014 after Nicole was referred by a school counselor. Nicole was the victim of other children’s bullying and was in dire need of someone to help lift her spirits and self-esteem. Although the original reasoning was in regard to bullying, Nicole has had a very trying time since the Match was established. Her mother was in prison for 17 months and since being out has left the family. The father shared that in all of that time, Tess has been a pillar of strength to his daughter. She has been consistent and has shown an unwavering love for Nicole. She meets with her more often than the program asks and speaks/texts with her on a very consistent basis. His daughter is able to call her no matter time of day and Tess will always pick up the call. If Nicole is emotionally distraught or hurting more than she can handle, Tess will drop everything that she is doing and come to get her to help ease her mind and just be a listening ear. The father steadily shares that there are no words that can describe the blessing that Tess has been to Nicole and states that he has never seen someone so fit for this type of work. He had no idea when he signed her up for the program that it would be as helpful and impactful as it has been. Her father had heard about Big Brothers Big Sisters and felt that as a man, he was not going to be able to communicate with his daughter in the ways she needed. He was aware that she would need a woman’s guiding hand through the pains of losing her mother and through the transition into adolescence. Tess has been just that. She has been a guide, a mentor, a Big Sister, a friend, a listener and someone Nicole can always reach out to. The father states, “I thank God because I know that He sent Nicole to us. He matched it perfect.”
Tess, too, has had a profound impact by partaking in this program. She states that Nicole helps her to be a better person and that she enjoys the strength and conviction in which she meets her challenges. She stated that their relationship has helped her to see life through the eyes of a child and that she has an absolutely amazing guide in the process. The admiration they share for one another is obvious to anyone in their presence. So congrats Tess and thank you for all that you do.
Thank you Tess for your dedication to your Little Sister! We are so appreciative of all you do! Tess is a true example of our goal of “Creating Longer Stronger Matches.”