PENSACOLA — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida selected Big Sister Noelle Strevig as the Santa Rosa County Big of the Year. Big Brothers Big Sisters staff chose Noelle for this honor, they said, because she is so consistent and supportive of her Little Sister Kennidi.
Since being matched in March of 2014, Strevig and Kennidi have seen each other nearly every week, according to BBBS. Their Match Specialist Michelle Byrd is proud to give Noelle this honor.
“As soon as I met Kennidi and her family, they had my heart,” Byrd said. “I love this match. Noelle is an excellent example of how a consistent presence in a child’s life can make a difference.”
Each week they go to a local coffee shop to talk and work on schoolwork. “Kennidi is a bookworm,” Strevig said, “A lot of children don’t like to read and I admire that she does, because I think reading is extremely important. It helps expand your vocabulary, and I have seen her interests grow, too, because of it.”
“School feels great. It’s less stressful than it used to be,” Kennidi said. “Since we have been matched, the way I act in public is so different, too. I was so shy but Noelle has helped me feel more comfortable talking to people.”
“Noelle has been an amazing influence on Kennidi’s grades and educational outcomes,” BBBS President and CEO Paula Shell said. “Without Noelle, Kennidi probably would have been held back a grade. You can clearly see the impact of this match.”
BBBS of Northwest Florida has been in one-to-one mentoring for children ages 6 to 18 for 29 years. Its mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Last year, BBBS of Northwest Florida served 616 children in Northwest Florida.