Advanced Ecology’s Hayley Cleveland was honored recently as “Big Sister of 2018” by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma.
Hayley and her “Little Sister,” Hope, were officially matched Jan. 30, 2017, and have been attached ever since their first outings together. “I was excited to meet her,” Hope said. “I love her to death. She’s exactly what I want, and who I love.” Hope had a chance recently to give back by surprising Hayley with news that she was being honored and present her with a trophy.
Hope was in foster care when she first met Hayley, and she’s lived in a variety of home settings. “She’s always been there for me, and she’s never given up on me,” Hope said. Hayley added that the pair quickly overcame any awkwardness and went on to become friends.
Bigs are asked to give of their time, showing patience and care toward their Littles. “Hayley has gone beyond all of that,” wrote Ashley Brand, match support specialist, in her letter nominating Hayley. “She is the first in line to stand up for her Little. She advocates for her, no matter the circumstance. She proves again and again that a consistent friend is the thing keeping someone going during their darkest times.”
Hayley is an environmental scientist at Advanced Ecology, Ltd. and Bird & Crawford Forestry. She and her husband, John, are residents of Norman, Oklahoma.
(Compiled from Norman, Oklahoma, “Transcript” story by Senior Staff Writer Joy Hampton. Click to read the full story. (“Transcript“ photo by Kyle Phillips)