Christie and Sofia

Single parents are often pulled in many directions. They can’t work as much as they need to because they have to take care of their kids, and they can’t spend as much time with their children as they’d like because they have to work.

Sofia’s mom was trapped in this tug of war and knew she wasn’t giving her daughter the time and attention she deserved. She reached out to Big Brothers Big Sisters Services to find a positive role model for Sofia, who was matched with Christie Ruff.

“Having Christie as my Big Sister has helped me be a better me. I am doing better than I used to do in school, and I’m trying my best to get those good grades to show my parents and Christie,” Sofia says.

Christie is a teacher who loves helping children, so becoming a Big Sister was a natural for her. She was named North Carolina’s Big of the Year in 2015.

“I wanted to become a Big Sister because I love helping kids. When I saw the long list of kids waiting to be matched, I wanted to help. I am so happy I made that decision,” Christie says. “Becoming a Big will be one of the best decisions you ever make; you just need to be willing to give of your time and share your life experiences.”

Christie and Sofia spend a lot of time talking about school and Sofia’s future. They were matched when Sofia was in third grade, and now she’s a high school sophomore who also attends Early College to earn an associate’s degree.

“Over those years, I have watched Sofia grow into a more outgoing and more confident young lady,” Christie says.

“We talk about the future a lot, like what I want to be when I grow up and how I might get there. I want to work in animal rescue to save innocent dogs and cats. I want a better future for myself,” Sofia says.

From participating in the Color Run or volunteering together to just being silly and talking about “girl stuff,” Christie and Sofia’s relationship is helping Sofia become a better person.

“Anything we do together is amazing. Although we are both very busy, I cherish the moments we have together. Christie and I have a really strong relationship. Something only she and I can feel. She is amazing, and I’m so glad I got paired with this system and with her,” Sofia says.

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