Project uplift is an organization designed for college students to help Lee County children build successful relationships in order to decrease delinquency rates.
Katherine White-Spunner and Katelyn Courtney have been apart of project up lift for two years now. There little sister is 9-year-old Tianna. The girls hang out every Thursday.
“We do different activities each week to keep it different,” White-Spunner said. “We go to the park or do an arts and crafts project. We also cooks her dinner too. We have a lot of fun together.”
The girls without realizing right away have begun to have an enormous impact on Tianna’s life.
“We can tell how excited she gets when she comes to hang out with us,” White-Spunner said. She calls us her big sisters and it’s good to know how much we do mean to her.”
Tianna has also had a major impact on White-Spunner and Courtney. She has made them more aware of the impact the two of them can have.
“Hanging out with Tianna has showed me that my words really do matter,” White-Spunner said. “She listens to everything we say even if we don’t think she is listening, so it is important we always get the right message across to her and we are always uplifting.”
The responsibility of watching her has also made the girls realize the impact they have.
“For the short time we have her once a week we are responsible for her,” White-Spunner said. “It has also made us grow up and become more responsible for ourselves.”
Project uplift strives to help children stay out of trouble and since their start only a small percentage have entered the juvenile court system.
They currently have 525 people in the program.