Ten years ago, Big Sister Diana Hanford met her 12-year-old Little Sister Luciana, who had recently migrated with her parents from Peru to South Florida.
“I remember meeting Luciana like it was yesterday,” Diana said. “We were both pretty shy but one on one we were able to communicate and hit it off immediately.”
Diana worked hard to foster the relationship, so that it would grow and develop.
“I wanted Lu to like me and think I was fun, so initially I was big on planning excursions and special outings,” she said.
Their relationship flourished as they spent time making memories – both big and small. They ranged from going to see Britney Spears in concert and experiencing the wildlife at Lion Country Safari to heading to a salon for a manicure or seeing the latest movie. The relationship continues today, as Diana encourages Luciana to continue to pursue a college education to lay the groundwork for a bright future.
“Diana and Luciana’s bond has become just like family,” added Anne Lorenz, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ VP of Programs. “Diana had wanted to be a role model when she enrolled in our program, and she has lived up to that in every sense of the word.”
Today they remain close, although they’ve aged out of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
“I owe so much to Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said Diana. “Knowing and loving Luciana has greatly enriched my life. I like to think the same is true for her.”