Canada’s largest mentoring organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, is turning 100 years old this year.
The local agency, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley, is celebrating the national anniversary by taking a look back on some of the successful friendships they have helped spark since their chapter opened their doors in 1969, including the matches they are currently supporting.
Abbotsford Big Brother Wayne said he feels like his match with his Little Brother was “meant to be.”
Wayne acknowledges his mentee was a little shy at first, but the duo connected by throwing a football around.
Almost three years later, this match still enjoys a wide variety of activities such as waterskiing, quading, riding all the rides at Agrifair, and playing golf.
“We try to do different things. Lately he has been helping me around the farm, feeding the livestock. I look forward to seeing him every weekend. I think he gets excited too for our Sundays,” Wayne said.
Little Brother Isaiah doesn’t remember the exact details of the day he was introduced to Wayne, but recalls being excited about meeting him and getting to go for a ride in his truck.
Isaiah said their first outing was to play football and go for a bike ride.
“I think a few weeks after we met, we became good friends because I got to know him. We have lots in common; we both like race cars and watching football and being outside. He got me a remote-controlled helicopter and we fly it every week,” he said.
Isaiah’s mom Annetta said Isaiah was shy and a bit nervous at first, but they soon hit it off.
“They pretty much connected right away – their interests were so similar. Wayne teaches him the benefit of having a male role model. He is much more confident now.”
A recent research study conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that compared to girls without a mentor, mentored girls are 2.5 times more likely to be confident in their ability to succeed at school, and four times less likely to bully, fight, lie or negatively express anger.
Mentored boys are two times less likely to develop negative conducts like bullying, fighting, lying, cheating, and losing their temper, and are two times more likely to believe that school is fun and that doing well academically is important.
For more information on how to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley, contact the Abbotsford office at 604-852-3331 or visit mentoringworks.ca