Brothers Nico and Xavier have both been matched with their Bigs, Mike and Spencer, for exactly one year this month!
Mike and Nico have hit it off since day one. Being around them it feels like hanging out with two old friends. They always find themselves outside or being active whether they are playing basketball, watching the Rockies or the Bronco’s play, or at a Team BIG event playing kickball with other matches. Nico has found a confidant in Mike and Mike has found a true friend in Nico. From volunteering together, to riding roller-coasters at Lakeside, to jumping at the Trampoline Park, or doing parkour, this match is on a mission for adventure. Nico has had some struggles in school and having the extra support has helped him see his worth and how amazing of a young person he really is despite the bumps along the way. Just having an extra positive voice to root him on has been so important. A great example of this is Mike showing up for Nico’s continuation to show how proud he was. One word that they have used to describe their match is powerful.
Xavier and Spencer are two peas in a pod. Since their first outing, Spencer and Xavier have found their jam in music, great conversation, adventuring out into the community, and attending Team BIG activities. When asked about why they connect so well as a match Spencer said, “I think we have similar personalities. For example, the car rides will be split 50/50 - where sometimes we will talk about things but other times we just listen to music. He has similar interests to me so it's easier to connect on different subjects. He brings a new perspective to situations that I wouldn't have considered.”
Spencer has made a conscious effort to focus on Xavier’s strengths and think outside the box about activities they can do to build on his strengths and his interests. For example, Spencer wants to help Xavier learn the drums to help him apply counting and math to something relevant to his interests.
Xavier is an extremely thoughtful young person. Randomly, Xavier gave Spencer a few homemade gifts and when his Program Specialist asked what made him want to give him those gifts he said, "Because he does everything for me. Well, I guess not everything, but he takes me places and always is there for me, and that was my way of saying thank you."
Right now, Spencer is still in the process of convincing Xavier do 'YMCA' with him at Skate City even though he still claims he hates the song.
Both kids light up when they talk about their Bigs. One person, just for them. To laugh with, to run around with, to confide in. Both Xavier and Nico's matches have grown stronger and stronger simply by Spencer and Mike just showing up. There is no limit to the impact you can make as a mentor.