Bryan and Zach
Goals were a foreign concept to Zach. That is until he met Bryan. Now, maintaining a 3.0 grade point average, staying out of the principal’s office and learning how to believe in himself are a set part of his life.
His reward for when he achieves his goals? The two have been paintballing, learned to snowboard and have future plans to go to Disneyland if Zach keeps his grades up.
As a single-parent, Zach’s mom couldn’t be happier with how her son has developed since he’s met Bryan. When asked about him, she says, “I am so grateful to have him as my son’s Big Brother. He is always there when Zach needs a friend and never puts him on hold.”
Ramona and Sapphire
If you met Little Sister Sapphire today, you wouldn’t even know that just two short years ago, she was withdrawn from friends and family and unsure in her ability to make any kind of decision.
As a result of the confidence that Big Sister Ramona has instilled in her, Sapphire looks people in the eye and is able to carry on a conversation. Following in her Big Sister’s footsteps, she has become a High School Bigs mentor at her school and spends time once a week with her own Little Sister.
When asked about Ramona, Sapphire says, “She’s the reason I am who I am today. When I have problems at home or at school, I know that I can go to her for advice. She encourages me to try new things every day.”
Brian, Nora, and Matthew
Community-Based Couples Match
Little Brother Matthew feels like he hit the jackpot. Instead of just one mentor, he has two with Big Couple Brian and Nora.
Brian and Nora would tell you differently though, “We feel more blessed. We had no idea that this ‘impact on a life’ was a two-way street. Matthew has made such an impact on our lives!” Even though they have been matched less than a year, Matthew’s grandmother (and caregiver) said she has noticed a huge change in Matthew since he met Nora and Brian, particularly in his behavior at school.
While there have been some trying times getting to know each other and establishing trust, there have been many more good times. Some of their favorite outings thus far have been taking Matthew to Teppanyaki for the first time (he loved the onion volcano), having Matthew help them to move into their new home, going sledding for the first time and of course, winning the “Best Dressed Team” award at Bowl For Kids’ Sake (link to Events – BFKS) (Matthew swears it was because of his purple shirt and skinny jeans). Next on the agenda – a competition to catch bullfrogs and race them to see who caught the fastest one!
Arturo and Isaac
High School Bigs Match
Little Brother Isaac won’t even hesitate to answer when asked how he feels about his Big Brother Arturo… “I love him like a real brother!”
Program Manager Deanna Ramirez remembers the first time she met 6-year old Isaac and recalls that he was struggling academically as an English as a Second Language student and was extremely quiet and reserved.
Four years later, 10-year old Isaac is happy, talkative and outgoing. Not to mention doing well in school. Simple things like playing soccer and basketball, doing crafts and eating snacks together has made a huge impact on Isaac, one he will never forget.