Angelica and Natalie’s story begins in 2008 when the two were matched. Angelica was in 3rd grade. They had an instant connection, “a click” as Angelica describes it. In the 8 years since they first met a lot has changed and their friendship has only deepened.
As the oldest of three siblings, Angelica has always had responsibilities beyond her years. Her hard-working single mother, Consuelo, said to Angelica early on, “I didn’t get to go to college and now I work in a factory. I want more for my children.” That sentiment and desire stuck with Angelica.
Natalie understood that drive. Having spent a period of time herself in foster care, she knew first-hand how hard it can be to balance striving for your goals and facing the realization that your success relies solely on your determination to get there.
With a strong and supportive mother and Big Sister, Angelica was on track, but she faced new challenges in middle school. Angelica was getting in fights and suspension from school was looming. Consuelo reached out to Natalie, “Can you help me? I don’t know what’s going on with my daughter, “Natalie recalls from her conversation with Consuelo. Peer pressure at school and her absent father attempting to regain trust and his involvement in her life sent Angelica on a dangerous path.
Anelica remembers that time clearly as a turning point. She remembers Natalie “giving it to her straight”. “Listen, you have a choice and it might be the most important decision you make. If you get off track now, you may never regain your footing.” Angelica remembers being taken back by Natalie’s questions and sense of urgency. “I knew I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything sway me from my reaching my goals.”
And, she didn’t.
Angelica graduated last year from STRIVE Preparatory School in NW Denver. She was a solid student who took all AP classes and works hard to maintain stellar grades so she will have the opportunity to earn grants and scholarships for college. Not only does she work hard in school, but she works hard to help keep the house running while her mother works long hours.
Angelica is on a great track for success and will be the first member of her family to attend college. Both Consuelo and Natalie work as a team to provide Angelica with all of the support she needs to be successful. Angelica deserves credit for all of her dedication and resiliency and without Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado Angelica wouldn’t have had the guidance and support of her Big Sister Natalie who she credits with “helping me become a better, confidant person.”
In 2018, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado is turning 100 years old and celebrating 100 years of mentoring in Colorado! We will be sharing 100 stories to commemorate our 100 years of history. These stories will highlight the value and importance of mentoring in the lives of current and alumni Littles, Bigs, families, and community partners. Check out our blog each week to view the next story in the series. If you have a story you would like to share, please visit our story collection portal at:https://form.jotform.com/73046559388166