About Us: 2018 NJ Big Sister of the Year
- Patricia Hennessey
“My Big Sister is special because she always hears me out when I am in a situation. We always have great talks and do a lot of fun things together that are very interesting. I have learned a lot from my Big Sister, but the most important lesson was to never give up and to strive for success no matter what the situation is. I am glad that I met my Big Sister Patricia Hennessy, who has a very special place in my heart and life.”
- Little Sister Chakyra
Big Sister Patricia Hennessey of Vineland, New Jersey and her Little Sister Chakyra were matched on July 26, 2012. At the time Chakyra was 12 years old and living with her great grandmother in a single parent home. Chakyra was getting into trouble at school and was known to be somewhat of a bully. Just prior to being matched, Chakyra’s father got into an altercation with someone and was killed at the scene. Chakyra’s mother was in and out of her life and her grandfather had been incarcerated. Chakyra’s grandmother was doing everything possible to keep Chakyra on the right track and decided to contact Big Brothers Big Sisters. After only a few outings with her Big Sister, Chakyra stated, “I love her already”
Patty’s and Chakyra’s match and relationship is amazing. Their favorite activities are going to the YOGO Factory to get their favorite flavor of frozen yogurt or “Taco Tuesday” at Patty’s home. They enjoy going to the mall, to the boardwalk, out to eat, doing crafts, and attending Big Brothers Big Sisters activities. Chakyra has become an excellent basketball player and has been described as being “somewhat of a rarity on the high school girls’ basketball team”. Patty is very supportive of Chakyra in her choice to play basketball and makes every effort to attend her games. Chakyra has grown into a confident and strong young lady with increased self-esteem.
“My girl Chakyra has faced more adversity than most people fathom. Chakyra’s great grandmother has custody of her and has saved her from a life of abuse, violence and very poor role models. It is amazing that a positive role model can alter the course of someone’s life. Chakyra’s grades and behavior have changed immensely. As she talks on our outings, her tone and outlook show promise of a future without incarceration, unplanned pregnancies and violence. Chakyra is a junior in high school and looking forward to a dynamic, successful senior year. Our match may end on the books but we will continue to be sisters.”
– Big Sister Patricia Hennessey