One of the best aspects of working for Big Brothers Big Sisters is hearing the stories. We get calls from former Littles who share how their lives would be a lot different, if it weren't for their mentor. Parents will tell you how the program has impacted their own lives. And Bigs who signed up for the program wanting to give back, say they ended up getting even more in return. The stories are inspiring and that's why we work so hard to keep these amazing relationships together. Long after the program officially 'ends', these relationships last a lifetime. Visit this page often for more stories and check out our YouTube page for videos.
Meet Sean, an 8 year old boy living with his mom and sister, who was accepted into the Big Brothers Big Sisters program almost three years ago. Sean’s mom contacted the agency with hopes of finding a male role model for her son, a “special person” just for him, someone he would look up too, respect, and confide in.
And that’s exactly what Sean got after meeting his Big Brother Alex. The pair have consistently gotten together every other weekend since they were introduced 2 ½ years ago. According to his mother, Sean has always been a very inquisitive child. He wants to know what things are and how they work. As his friendship with his Big Brother grew, he began to turn his questions to Alex during their outings. Sean even knows this about himself! During a recent call with his Match Support Specialist he was asked, “what is something you’ve learned from your Big Brother?” His response was that he asks so many questions that he hasn’t just learned one or two things from Alex, he’s learned SO MANY things from his Big Brother.
In addition, Alex feeds Sean’s thirst for knowledge in the activities they do together. Of course they’ve done “typical” agency-supported match activities like sporting events (Rays and Bucs games), but they’ve also ventured out in the community to experience new things. They’ve built a soccer goal after a trip to Home Depot to purchase the materials, built a bird house out of scrap materials found in Alex’s garage and they’ve even put together and mounted shelves in Sean’s room. Like many children in our program, Sean would never get the opportunity to do these activities had he not met Alex. During their time together Alex has a way of encouraging Sean to do better, try harder, and make good choices, without lecturing him, and for that reason, Sean’s mom feels he truly thinks about the things he and Alex discuss.
“Sean has a great outlook– he never complains, is always up for trying/doing new things, is a hard worker, and likes to have fun. I hope he looks up to me, but I actually appreciate the example that he sets for me too. Spending time with him and watching him grow has been an extremely rewarding positive experience for me.” said Big Brother Alex.
Sean’s mom feels the biggest change she’s seen in him is his attitude and behavior at home. He is nicer to his family (his sister included) and he is more helpful around the house. She feels that Sean really wants to work hard, try harder, and do better to make Alex proud. Sean truly looks up to and respects Alex.
We are thrilled to have an amazing match like Sean and Alex in our mentoring program! Way to go, guys!