When Libby was referred to the program she was in that awkward phase when she felt that no matter how much her mom loved her and told her she was great or beautiful, she was a bottom feeder in the tank called middle school. Friends that had been fun to be with in her seemingly comfortable, neighborhood elementary school were now vicious with their glares and sharp with their comments about what Libby was wearing. She had always loved basketball and spent many afternoons out at the end of the street with other neighborhood kids but now she was an unwelcome visitor at the net as the coed crowd became predominantly boys.

Libby began to spend a lot of time alone, would not talk at the end of the day, was not interested in joining school activities, and seemed to be hiding from the world. It was about this time that her mom picked up the phone and called the Junior Senior Friends Program. She was convinced that if Libby had someone, other than herself, to tell her how wonderful she is and smart and pretty and strong…that Libby would feel better about herself and “get back into things”.

Weeks earlier, the program had hosted a monthly volunteer mentor training and had the pleasure of Dawn’s presence at the table. Dawn was a per diem nurse at the local hospital, had two grown daughters, and was very interested in being matched with a young person that loved the outdoors. When Libby’s application fell into the hands of program staff, it did not take long to discover that Dawn and Libby had some common interests and could be a good match.

Libby and Dawn were introduced a short time later and now after three years in the program as Junior Senior Friends, the pair has enjoyed many kayaking adventures, walks at the Audubon, hiking trips, and are preparing to climb a 3,000 footer together next summer. Dawn has seen Libby through the transition to high school, rarely misses a basketball game, and the two intend to be “friends forever”.