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Where are they now? A story about former Little Sister Dealia.

When she was 14 years old, Dealia was matched with her Big Sister, Cathy, in Posey County. Living in a household with five other siblings, her mother noticed that Dealia needed someone to bond with on an individual basis. Throughout the next several years, her family life went through ups and downs and at one point she lived in foster care. However, when she met her Big Sister, she had one relationship in her life that was constantly on an uphill climb.

When Dealia was matched with Cathy in December of 2014, her life changed forever. Their first outing together was spent at an Evansville Icemen game and from there, Dealia and Cathy spent a lot of time making cookies, sewing, and going on bike rides. As their relationship grew, so did the variety of activities they did together. Dealia recalled one of the first times she drove a car was with her Big Sister. When the time came, Cathy also assisted with investigating colleges for Dealia to attend after graduation. At one point, Cathy asked Dealia about an item on her bucket list and Dealia stated that she wanted to go to Hawaii and climb a mountain. Cathy, however, would tell you that Dealia has already climbed a mountain. “She has faced much adversity in her young life and is doing well and thriving,” Cathy says.

Dealia graduated high school in May 2018 and started at the University of Southern Indiana that fall. She worked hard and received several scholarships to help her along the way. Today, she is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology. “I am an empathetic person who wants to understand how people feel,” she said. Since her hometown is right down the road, Dealia often visits her siblings and foster parents while staying busy with her on-campus job and studying for her classes. Right now, she greatly enjoys her independence and hopes to study abroad within the next year. Once the time is right in her life, Dealia plans to become a Big Sister to help another local child become a successful adult and follow in her footsteps.

Looking back on her relationship, Dealia knows she is on a more successful path due to Cathy’s guidance. “It’s nice to have a mentor in your life; Cathy is such a sweet person.” Her advice to anyone in our program, Bigs or Littles, is to “Make it an enticing experience. It’s the time you spend, not what you do,” she says.

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