Sam and Devonne have been matched for three years. The pair joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado through the Sports Buddies program. Devonne is an only child, and when asked why he wanted a Big Brother he said, “to try all types of sports and learn about more things with a friend.” This statement truly reflects upon the companionship, adventure, modeling, and shared experiences Devonne and his mother came to Big Brothers Big Sisters for and have found in being matched with Sam.
When the two were matched in 2014 they connected through their common interest in sports and a strong desire to try new things. Devonne is inquisitive and enjoys learning about and exploring new topics. Therefore, in the Sports Buddies program he and Sam have taken advantage of the opportunities to go high school, college, and professional sports events. Devonne and Sam also used the Sports Buddies program events to try out and participate in sports related activities over the years such as ultimate Frisbee, capture the flag, soccer, sports career day, sports clinics, dodgeball, and much more. During each event they attended or participated in Sam and Devonne built a strong foundation for their relationship focused on being consistent, sharing in experiences with familiar and new activities, and encouraging curiosity and learning all while playing and having fun.
In 2015, Sam and Devonne moved into the community based Sports Buddies Plus program. Devonne and Sam have used the Sports Buddies Plus program to continue building and expanding their relationship by exploring other non-sports areas of interest together. The pair has made a point to regularly set character development and academic goals together. These goals have led them to volunteer quarterly at the Delores Project, work on developing specific life skills such as cooking and critical thinking, build confidence through appropriate risk taking in the activities they choose, and make use of opportunities from donors to attend film screenings, professional sports games, and special events around town.
With the opportunity to engage with each other and additional areas of interest more, Sam and Devonne have continued to deepen their conversations and strengthen their relationship. The match has set academic goals with specific classes in mind, decision making, and organization and planning skills that have contributed to building Devone’s confidence and identity as well.
Sam has been patient and persistent, always considering readiness and willingness, in developing his relationship with Devonne. While challenges exist in every relationship, Sam and Devonne have chosen to continue learning how to work through them together. As a match, Sam and Devonne are a great example of acceptance, accountability, fun, encouragement, and commitment. These core values tied with the actions of consistently showing up, exploring together, and taking on the risks and rewards of a mentoring relationship, have impacted Sam and Devonne lives and the lives of those around them and our community.