One Mom’s Mentoring Real Life Story: Finding a Mentor for Kyle
Jodi, mother of Little Brother and recent graduate Kyle, knew that after the death of Kyle’s father he would need an adult male role model in his life. Although no one could ever replace Kyle’s father, she hoped Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay could provide her son with not only a mentor, but a friend during his time of grief. Now years later, Kyle and Big Brother Matt are closer than ever. Once a skeptic, Kyle now agrees that finding him a Big “was the best thing that my mom could have done for me.”
Tell us a little bit about your son Kyle, and his Big Brother Matt.
Kyle and Matt have been matched since March 30th, 2010 and they have established quite the relationship!
Kyle is a 17 year old kid that is full of life. He’s a man of few words but once you know him, he opens up and shows his wonderful personality. He is rounded in every aspect of his life: Alter server as a youth, played the trumpet, Lead Male in his high school musicals (Gaston in Beauty in the Beast and Horton in Seusicall), first baseman and pitcher on his baseball team; and his proudest accomplishment of his high school years is earning the superlative of Class Clown! He will be attending Bridgewater State University in September, undeclared, but leaning towards management (which fits him to a “T”!).
Matt, Kyle’s Big Brother is an outgoing guy who loves being active in the outdoors. His personality perfectly compliments Kyle! He is 32 and him and his wife are now expecting their first child in July! He is going to be a great dad!
How did you get involved with BBBSMB?
After Kyle’s dad died of cancer when he was just 10, I started enrolling him in many things to help with his grief: counseling, grief camp and after seeing a commercial on TV, I enrolled him in BBBSMB as well. His older brother, Eric, unfortunately aged out of the program before he could be matched but after a few years of waiting, Kyle and Matt were finally matched!
I remember reading an essay Kyle wrote once and he said: “My mom always signs me up for stuff. I was skeptical about this latest thing she signed me up for (BBBSMB) but, to my surprise, it was the best thing that she did for me”.
How has having a mentor impacted Kyle’s life?
Having Matt in Kyle’s life has been so positive. Seeing Matt’s success in business has guided Kyle to strive for better and pursue a degree in business or management. He also helped Kyle come out of his shell which gave him the confidence to run for class officer 3 out of his 4 years of high school. Matt also helped Kyle try new things – Mixed Martial Arts, different restaurants and foods, and to even take public transportation by himself.
Matt has helped me as well! I have consulted him on how to handle certain situations as a parent and he was always there to support me when I needed advice. Matt is a true friend. Matt’s also said that Kyle has made his life richer. BBBS did an amazing job matching them; the wait was certainly worth it.
Kyle just graduated, will he and Matt continue to stay in touch and get together?
I believe that Matt and Kyle will always share the bond that they have created, and I do believe that they will stay in touch for their next chapters in life: College for Kyle and fatherhood for Matt!
How has the experience with BBBSMB been for you, as a mother?
My experience with BBBSMB has been phenomenal! Everyone has been so kind and helpful. Terry was his match coordinator and remembered us from the beginning when he saw us at Match Graduation. They were able to give Kyle the extra things that I could not provide as a single mom: Celtics Tickets; Red Sox Tickets; An extra pair of sneakers at the picnics—most of all – the relationship with Matt! I consider Matt a member of my family and I feel totally blessed and enriched with him and his wife in our life.
Anything else you would like to share about the program and your experience?
I think that Bigs are so important to their Littles’ lives. They offer them someone who will not judge them for who they are, but hold them accountable for their mistakes. Bigs push Littles to be the best that they can be and strive for more. Littles can confide with their Bigs, and it will be just between them.
I know that Matt will never take the place of Kyle’s dad, but Matt certainly was one of the most important male role models in Kyle’s life. I know Kyle’s dad, along with Matt’s dad, is looking down on both of them from above – proud of the young men that they have become, and proud that they found each other and affected each other’s life in such a positive way.
I will forever be grateful for BBBSMB, and Matt, for having such a positive impact on my son’s life and on my family!!