Big Sister Glennie & Little Sister Coriana

Big Sister Glennie & Little Sister Coriana

Meet Big Sister Glennie and Little Sister Coriana who have been matched almost 7 years now!

Big Sister Glennie and Little Sister Coriana first met in October 2018 through our Community-Based mentoring program and have been matched ever since.

Although this is Coriana’s first match, Glennie has been an integral part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ work in the Allen and Kosciusko communities for a long time, first becoming a Big Sister 20 years ago! Her passion and dedication to creating a safe place for children shine through the moment you talk with her. With such commitment to her Littles, her two matches have survived graduations, conflicts, a pandemic, and moving away from each other. And her story is a perfect example of why mentorship is life-changing for everyone involved. 

Little #1

It all started one fateful day in 2004; Glennie attended a work meeting where a Big Brothers Big Sisters member would deliver a speech that changed not only her life but two Little Sisters’ lives as well.

Deeply curious about “Lunch Buddies,” now known as our Site-Based School Buddies program, Glennie called the Fort Wayne branch of the agency, and her Match Support Specialist had a lunch buddy for her right away, a 1st grader just looking for someone to talk to. Because of her own experiences as a child growing up in a “dysfunctional family,” she has always had a special interest in helping children out of abusive situations and creating a safe space for them, someone they can turn to for a trusted adult.

“I wanted to reach out into the community and help someone who just needed that other person to say you’re OK? It’s OK to be different. That’s OK. Let’s talk it over,” said Glennie.

Glennie’s acceptance and non-judgmental approach to her mentorship with her Little fostered a relationship that never ended. This mentorship began when her Little was in 1st grade, and even now that she is 27 years old with two children of her own (whom Glennie calls her grandbabies), she and Glennie are still in regular contact and try to meet up whenever possible.

However, her Little was skeptical when the match first started.

“So she said, ‘I was really excited to get a lunch buddy, but then I saw you and you were old. I didn’t think you’d be fun because you were old.’
And I said, ‘I’m really sorry I was old, but haven’t you had fun?’
And she said, ‘I’ve had the best time of my life with you.’

Their Relationship Now

Despite living in different cities and her first Little working full-time and being a mother, they still try to make it work to see each other over lunch like they used to all those years ago. However, Glennie jokes that she’s glad one thing HAS changed about their lunches: “At least I don’t have to play old maid anymore. We used to play the card game Old Maid at Lunch Buddies, and she would just love for me to get the old maid!”

 Whenever they meet, Glennie feels an overwhelming sense of happiness and pride as she looks at how far her Little has come.

“I just felt I felt proud because I felt like I had brought someone through from 6 years old to now 27 years old,” said Glennie, “and that we still have that that connection with us that we will always have that nobody else will have with her.”

Meeting Little #2

After retiring and moving to Kosciusko County in 2017, Glennie thought it was time to mentor another child. That’s where Coriana comes in.

The two quickly became close, both fans of going boating, getting their nails done, shopping, going to the movies, and talking over meals.

“So the first time I met Glennie, it was in the fifth grade. It was the day before Halloween and we went to Subway and we had like a really nice long chat, and it was just kinda nice to talk to someone that understood me,” said Coriana.

Coriana now sees Glennie as a close family friend, someone who has not only created a bond with herself but has made efforts to be close with her mom and grandma too. Glennie agrees with this, believing that she and Coriana’s mom have the trust and openness necessary to make the mentorship work.

“Like I can tell Glennie anything and tell her to keep it to herself,” said Coriana, “or if it’s something that needs to be told that I’m scared to tell my mom, she’ll tell her for me if I’m too scared to.”

Match Memories

When asked about their favorite memories together, Coriana said that hers was the very first day they met, realizing she had someone who would understand her. Glennie was quick to share one of her favorite stories about a lake day they had a few summers ago when Coriana was 13.

As Glennie’s grandson was teaching Coriana how to fish, she was reluctant to do the gross parts like putting the worm on the hook. After Glennie baited the hook for her, Coriana tossed the line in. Now is the part where most fishers have to wait forever, but not Coriana! In one minute, Coriana caught a 14-inch bass! Talk about beginner’s luck!

This caught everyone off guard, with Glennie’s grandson proclaiming, ‘“I’ve been fishing in this lake since I was born, and I’ve never caught a fish that big!’”

Even though Coriana was also unwilling to take the fish off the hook, she still retells this story of out-fishing everyone on her first try with pride.

The Future of their Mentorship

Despite Coriana and Glennie also living in different cities now and the pandemic where they couldn’t see each other a few years ago, this Big and Little still make sure to meet up, showing their bond’s unwavering resilience. In the face of distance, the two know they will always have each other, no matter how far they are.

God’s given me the two little girls that he wants me to mentor,” said Glennie.

Coriana shared, “I’m hoping she’s in my life for a very long time.”

Not only have these Littles and their Big had a tremendous impact on each other, but they also affect those around them, sharing their story of hope and friendship and commitment.

Glennie had one last message to share with her Littles:

“I guess I can say to them, I’m glad that they are in my life. I’m glad that they were in my life because they have really made me feel good about the fact that together we are changing the world. You know, one person at a time. And I’m there for them.”

Will you take the challenge of becoming an Everyday Hero?

Wanting to make a difference? Learn more about volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters here. Wanting to take the next step? Start the application process here.

Related Stories