JAHANE’S STORY

Being there makes all the difference

In 2008, at age 11, Jahane witnessed her grandmother’s murder. With grief weighing on her, Jahane struggled with attendance, confidence and reading. She shut down.

As a sixth-grader at Pittsburgh South Hills 6-8, Jahane entered United Way’s Be a Middle School Mentor program, where she met Susan Stauber. In the beginning, Jahane would sit in silence while Susan talked. But Susan did not give up. And soon enough, Jahane came around.

Jahane’s relationship with Susan grew stronger every year. Through mentoring, Jahane learned valuable reading skills, the importance of attendance, and to never give up on herself. “Susan didn’t think I was paying attention to her,” said Jahane. “But I was, and I started talking more. Just her being there made all the difference.”

When Jahane entered high school Susan became her Big Sister through Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Jahane graduated from Brashear High School in June 2016 and attends beauty school. She continues her relationship with Susan, meeting for lunch weekly and chatting on the phone often.

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