BUFFALO, N.Y. – We are once again celebrating Western New York and the lifelong friendships created through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Thirteen "Littles" graduated from high school this year in Western New York. Tuesday, 2 On Your Side’s Kelly Dudzik met the Big and Little Sister duo paired longer than anyone else in the program this year in Western New York.
Aaliyah Robinson and Laura Roberts were matched when Aaliyah was just six in 2006.
"We always share our stories and experiences and everything's just so great with Laura," says Robinson.
"Aw. Yeah, you know, we have a lot of laughs and we done a variety of things over the years," says Roberts.
From going to Bisons games to spending time with Roberts’ family, they have been through a lot together.
"Laura has helped me through all of my problems, like if I have a problem at home or at school, or at work, with pretty much anything, like me and my mom or brothers and sisters getting in any arguments, then Laura would be like, well, you can see it from their point of view," says Robinson.
"Building that relationship with her really opened my eyes and kind of helped me build better relationships not just with her, but then with other children in my life, too," says Roberts.
Robinson is now 18 and in the fall, she's going to Villa Maria College to study animation.
"Aaliyah was like, so are you going to get a new Little Sister and that's going to be the end of me, and I said, no, I'll be with Aaliyah for as long as she wants me in her life, so..." said Roberts.
"And, that's all of my life," says Robinson.
"Yeah," said Roberts.
"I love Laura. We have a lot of fun, and she can never leave me. She's stuck with me forever," says Robinson.
"Yes, I'm very happy to be part of your life forever, and it's been great for both of us, and I think a lot of people think about the effect that it has on the children involved in the program, but really as a grownup, or as an older person in the program, it has a great effect on you, too," says Roberts.
Both Roberts and Robinson stress that being a Big Brother or Big Sister is all about spending time together. Robinson says she's thinking about becoming a Big Sister when she's done with college.