March 17, 2021

My name is Natasha Jessup, and I’ve had the pleasure of being Anaiya’s Big Sister for a year now! Let me start by saying that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana couldn’t have matched me with a better Little Sister. She’s only 12 years old, but I can already tell that she’s a natural leader. She truly “dances” to the beat of her own drum. Anaiya is very aware of the times we’re living in and has made great strides to shine a light in dark places. Whether she’s participating in a rally for racial injustice or recommending that her school shine a light on more Black historical figures, Anaiya makes a lasting impact everywhere she’s encountered. I’m looking forward to the years to come of being her Big Sister. Anaiya is destined for greatness and I’m grateful to be a part of her journey; it’s only UP from here!

My name is Anaiya, and I am in the sixth grade. I am the oldest of three children and my goal for my future is to be the best version of myself and lead by example. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to Brownsburg, Indiana in the first grade. I love Brownsburg, the people are great, and the community is growing and changing for the better every day. I enjoy hanging with my friends, dancing, tumbling, and of course TikToking! I recently joined the track team, and I am super excited about the season.

Being a young person in America is hard but being Black in America is even harder. Change is necessary in today’s world, especially in the Black community, as being an African American can be scary at times. I have listened to family members talk about their fear of being pulled over by the police and not making it back home safely. We worry about being wrongly accused because of the color of our skin and spending our whole lives pleading our innocence. As a Black citizen, I feel like we have tried our hardest to change our rights, but we could do so much more. We won’t stop until our voices are heard and justice is served. Last spring my grandmother took me to downtown Cincinnati, and I was able to witness young people like myself using their voices to fight against police brutality. It was beautiful, peaceful, and diverse. 

On the first Friday in February, a couple friends and I decided to come up with a plan on how to teach other minors about other African Americans that are not Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, or Martin Luther King. My goal was to educate my peers about other African Americans who have contributed to our country. Every Friday in February we went down to the guidance office to come up with ideas to acknowledge other Black historians we haven’t learned about, such as Daisy Bates and Garrett Morgan. Our ideas included: asking trivia questions during lunch time; hanging up posters around the school; and adding new biographies about different African Americans to be taught to the class two Wednesdays in February. My teammates and I were all acknowledged during these times for our efforts. I’m super proud of everything we have accomplished, and I am looking forward to doing it again.

Age 12
Little Sister

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