Abbi’s mother, a determined, devout single mother who had recently immigrated from Guyana, was thrilled when her daughter was selected as a member of Friends of the Children’s inaugural class of Achievers. Abbi was a nervous child, often withdrawn at school. She had difficulty mixing with her peers and typically raced home after classes to the comfort and security of her own home. She wasn’t accustomed to being around large, noisy crowds. After her trip to the bowling alley, she wasn’t sure she wanted any more of them either – or bowling or the Friends program.

Her Friends of the Children mentor persisted, though. She understood that their first activity had been too much for Abbi. They needed to start slow, developing a connection and a sense of trust. Abbi needed to feel safe and supported. Then they could take on the outside world.

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