WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — It was 2010 and Kelly Plorin was a freshman at Midwestern State looking for a way to get involved in the community.
That’s when she was introduced to Big Brothers Big Sisters, a mentorship organization that matches bigs with littles, and it’s where she’d meet her little, Chelsee Ryder.
“When I got her at age seven, I was a freshman at MSU and I honestly didn’t think that it would last longer than my time at Midwestern, but when I graduated from Midwestern in 2014, I just knew it wasn’t a good time in her life to just kind of leave her and so she just got older and older and we’re already here so we might as well finish it out,” Plorin said.
Typically, bigs only stay matched with their littles for a couple of years, but that’s not the case for these two, and Kelly’s little, Chelsee, says she’s thankful that she took home that Big Brothers Big Sisters permission slip way back in first grade.
“I took it home, my granny filled it out, I turned it back into the school, and Deborah came and interviewed me,” Ryder said.
And ever since that match was made, these two have made countless memories together, with many adventures and even vacations under their belt.
“One of the most exciting things was I surprised her for her birthday and I took her to Disney World for her 15th birthday,” Plorin said.
Chelsee says it’s the lessons and guidance that her big Kelly has given her over the years that has touched her life the most.
“She’s helped me like gain a lot of experience, especially with college. No one like close to my family has gone to college so she helped me get into that, and without her, I feel like I’d be very confused and lost,” Ryder said.
“To see that she’s graduating from Henrietta and just seeing that she’s going to be so successful in the future she’s also going to attend Midwestern, so it’s like a full circle. She’ll start where I started as well,” Plorin said.
And while their match will officially close after Chelsee’s graduation, this is a forever friendship.
“It’s bittersweet because I love spending so much time with her but for both of us I think we can agree that even though we won’t be matched as sisters this will be lifetime friendship,” Plorin said.
A friendship that started all because Kelly said yes to being a big, something you can do, too!
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The office is located at 1501 Midwestern Parkway, Suite 100. You can reach them by phone at (940)-767-2447.