KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Celia and Takota meet in the school library at the same time every week to catch up.
Celia recently retired to Knoxville and was looking for a way to connect after years in the communications business.
"Takota loves art," Celia said. "She thinks about things, and she's also a good communicator. That's a strong suit for me. I'm a writer and a poet."
She met Takota through Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee and instantly realized they had a lot in common including their love of animals, art and just having fun.
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"She likes hide and seek," Takota smiled. "She is kind of the height of my nanny. She's really nice. I really like her."
Connecting has been especially important this year after spending so much time apart from others during the pandemic.
"It always helps to have another person to talk to, especially other than your own family," Celia said.
The two are still getting to know each other while bonding over their passions.
"I don't know what we're going to learn from each other. We'll just find out," Celia said. "I hope that I can be a positive influence."
More than 150 children are currently on the waiting list for a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee.
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