A Devoted 'Sister'
Yvette Nicole Moreno, 24, was a junior high school student when she was paired with a Big Sister, who volunteered to take her on outings to the beach, the ballet or the mall. The match was perfect. Joanne Alicea, 41, had also grown up in a single-parent home, went to Roman Catholic schools and lived in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.
For four years, the two saw each other at least every other weekend. They got to know each other's friends and family. And long after the formal relationship was over, they stayed in touch.
Over the summer, Ms. Alicea joined Ms. Moreno and her mother for dinner at Cabana, at the South Street Seaport. Ms. Moreno was bubbling with news. She was working as a receptionist at Carr Futures, in the World Trade Center, and finishing college part time. She was dressed like the successful professional she was becoming, made-up and manicured. She was thinking about buying a car. "She was doing everything she set out to do," Ms. Alicea said.
After the trade center attack, Ms. Alicea visited her friend's mother with condolences. There was a shiny Mitsubishi outside, so new it still had temporary plates and that leathery smell. Ms. Moreno's 21-year-old brother was desperately, hopefully, polishing the chrome.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 25, 2001.