By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
A local woman is getting a national award for what she does in her free time. Now, she is hoping the honor will help inspire others.
Sandra Rayford was chosen this week as the 2013 National Big Sister of the Year, setting the example of all Big Brothers Big Sisters.
It is an award few will ever get, but sometimes the real reward is what people give. At least that is what she believes.
"I've seen her blossom from a very shy little girl to now a full grown young lady," Rayford said.
For the last 10 years, Rayford has been a Big Sister to Sena Ford, and they've done a lot of stuff together.
"We went prom dress shopping. We have been to Crown Center when I was little, I had no clue what that was," Ford said.
Rayford said they found a lot of things that didn't cost money to do in Kansas City and became very close.
It is the first time in seven years that a Big Sister has won the award in Missouri, and the last seven have all been Big Brothers. But it is also the first time the state has ever won the national award.
It is a message Rayford is hoping other Kansas Citians will hear.
"I hope that I'll be able to encourage other people to join the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, because it is a very worthy program. It is not as time consuming as some people might think," Rayford said.
In addition to the national recognition, the two will also get a trip to the national convention at the end of June, then a possible trip to the White House.
Still Rayford remains humble and says, being a Big Sister is one of her favorite roles in life.
"It's been very rewarding, because she's been just as important to me, as I feel like I have been for her," Rayford said.
As for Ford, she plans to join the navy after graduation, and says her Big Sister made all the difference in her life.
"She's led me in that right direction. She gives me her point of view, but she also listens to what I have to say," Rayford said.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Sunday, April 20 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-04-20 16:25:32 GMT
Authorities are investigating a convenience store shooting.Raytown police were called to a QuikTrip in the 8700 block of East 63 Street about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after reports that a person that had beenMore >
Authorities are investigating a convenience store shooting.More >
Friday, April 18 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:53:24 GMT
The police department's statements detail their use of GPS tracking, surveillance and the help of tips from the public that led to the eventual arrest of Mohammed Whitaker, the man suspected of being theMore >
Court documents detail how new-age technology, old-fashioned police work and observant eyewitnesses led to the capture of the man that authorities say was responsible for a string of highway shootings that terrorized the area.More >
Sunday, April 20 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:36:54 GMT
One person is in the hospital after a car crash on Interstate 70. It happened near Lee's Summit Road early Sunday morning and involved multiple vehicles. Police had to shut down a section of the interstateMore >
One person is in the hospital after a car crash on Interstate 70 in Independence. More >
Sunday, April 20 2014 4:21 PM EDT2014-04-20 20:21:47 GMT
Authorities said a death investigation is underway in a KCK neighborhood.Kansas City, KS, police were called about 12:40 p.m. Sunday to the 700 block of North 70th Terrace.No other details were immediatelyMore >
Authorities said a death investigation is underway in a KCK neighborhood.More >