By Michelle Jones
Sarah Lawrence knows about the pain of divorce. When she was a little girl, her parents separated. As a child, she longed to have a caring adult in her life to help her through that difficult time. It is her desire to provide this support for someone else that encouraged her to become a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa in Des Moines.
Sarah was matched with her little sister Aujenae Moore in 2006 during the finalization of Aujenae’s parent’s divorce. Their relationship has lasted 9 years. Throughout their relationship, Sarah was a consistent supporter of Aujenae.
“Along with her family, Sara has supported me through everything anyone could possibly think of. From the age of 9, and still now, she and her compassionate family have helped me so much and taught me so many life lessons. From 5th, 8th and high school graduation and everything in between … having Sara in my life has changed it completely and I truly do not know where I would be if I never had gotten my match from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa,” says Aujenae .
Having Sarah’s support has been very beneficial to Aujenae.
“During junior high, Aujenae had begun to struggle both socially and in academics. It was tough to see her through those times, but she came out stronger for it. I was sincerely humbled and proud when I attended her high school graduation. I was even MORE proud to learn that she was going to college, and made smart decisions about which school she would attend. She knows herself well enough to know her strengths and limitations,” says Sarah.
This support has created a lasting relationship between the two young women. The two girls have created many memories throughout their relationship.
“One of my favorite memories with my mentor was when her and her mother surprised me with a gift, it was right before I left for college and the gift was a photo book. This photo book had every one of my sister and I’s pictures together along with every ticket to a movie show we’ve been to together, concert programs from when I was in middle school, everything we’ve done together in a nutshell up until my graduation day. It was a very emotional moment for me because of the fact that her and her mother took the time out to even think of saving everything we have done and then wrapping it all up to give it to me. I was so grateful to have the photobook and to have them.” says Aujenae.
As their relationship grew, Sarah and Aujenae became more than mentor and mentee. The two girls have become more like real sisters.
“My favorite thing about having my mentor is that even though I was finished with the program when I turned 18, our relationship and bond has not changed. Sarah and her family are a part of my family,” says Aujenae.
As any good mentor would do, Sarah has always been available to provide guidance to Aujenae.
“She knows I am always there for her” says Sarah.
Having a mentor has been a life changing experience for Aujenae. You can change a life too.