Ten years ago when we were all still dancing to the world-wide viral hit Gangnam Style in our schools, streets and offices, Roland and Alex met for the first time as Little and Big Brothers.
Now, a decade later, this dynamic duo is celebrating an extra-special anniversary: ten years of friendship through the Big Brothers Community program.
“I’ve seen him since he was seven-years-old. Now, he’s all grown up,” Roland proudly said.
And all grown up he now is. A not-so-little Alex has graduated from high school, as well as from the Big Brothers Community program, and is now stepping into the next chapter of his life.
Alex, now 17, met Roland for the first time at David Lam Park, in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood, but it didn’t get off to a stellar start.
Back then, the younger Alex had mixed feelings about the new encounter. His mother had enrolled him in the program, with his consent, but it was still a meeting with, what was then still, a stranger.
“I just wanted to go home because I was so young and I missed my mom,” he remembers.
Fun and games
However, all that changed swiftly. The pair quickly bonded and became besties. The two now enjoy jumping into the local swimming pool, playing soccer at neighbourhood parks, going to see the latest blockbuster films at the movies, hitting the streets to discover the next best restaurant to eat at, and so much more at each weekly hangout.
Watersports, in particular, are one of their favourite things to do, should the weather permit it.
“Stand-up paddle boarding is the ‘funnest’ because you can push him off,” Alex jokingly said.
Since then, the two have formed a strong bond and have left a lasting mark in each other’s lives.
“He’s someone I can rely on and depend on,” Alex said.
Stepping into the future
As Alex now walks into the world of adulthood, Roland has been there to give him all the financial pointers to give him a head-start. He’s learned all about the world of investing and finance from Roland and it has become one of his favourite hobbies to keep on learning about outside of his in-school academics.
“It’s a real fun and funny friendship,” Roland said. “I’d like to say it’s kept me younger to some degree.”
Both Alex and Roland have also been able to take part together in activities and events they would not have been able to otherwise such as sporting events and concerts; thanks to organizations donating tickets to Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver for our Littles and Bigs.
Their friendship has been more than just fun and games through and has made a big impact on the person Alex has grown up to be.
“I don’t know who Alex would be without Roland,” Alex’s mother said, adding that the two have become such a great team together over the past decade.
What’s absolutely crystal-clear to her, though, is that Alex’s future is brighter than ever before thanks to his Big Brother, Roland.
Watch the video below for the full story of Alex and Roland’s Big Brothers match.