“Even if you’re scared, you can keep going – don’t stop!” That’s one of the lessons that Big Brothers volunteer Mitch has learned over the last few years and one he tries to pass on to the boys in the Game On! Program.
Each week, Mitch meets with a group of boys to mentor them on communication skills, active lifestyles and healthy living. Part of the Game On! curriculum includes teaching young boys that it’s okay to express emotions – like being scared, in a healthy way. Thanks to volunteers like Mitch, boys in Game On! learn about physical and emotional health and develop skills like strong communication and respect for others.
Mitch also hopes to demonstrate the power of a positive attitude and to show that role models come in all shapes and sizes. In 2018, Mitch was in an ATV accident and now uses a wheelchair. Volunteering for Game On! was a way of challenging himself to discover new opportunities that he could do in a wheelchair while inspiring others to overcome their challenges too.
Fundamentally, Mitch is striving to be a positive male role model by inspiring children “to have fun but also try their hardest.” He hopes that sharing his experiences with boys can offer them insight about life and show that teamwork and leadership can have a positive influence on others. During his three Game On! programs as a mentor, he’s personally learned to “go with the flow.” It’s a constant reminder to “take a moment to ask yourself and others, ‘how we can do this better?’”
Role models for Mitch are constantly evolving. He says that he’s always discovering new, positive influences in his life as he learns and grows personally. He’s proud to say that he has an ambition to carve his own path as a positive role model and achieve things he’s never done before; ultimately hoping to inspire others to get involved in the community and support others.
Thalia Lang, a Game On! Mentoring Coordinator, says that “It’s amazing to see how wonderful volunteers like Mitch can make a difference in the lives of these boys in 1.5 hours each week. For a lot of these boys, this is the only time after school they have undivided, curated attention from an adult who cares about them. It’s the small, but important things that Mitch does which makes a difference. Remembering all the boy’s names, noticing if a kid gets upset because they lost and coaching them through those rough emotions. I see a lot of boys come out of their shell and gain a new level of confidence during Game On! And it’s all thanks to our thoughtful and kind volunteers like Mitch.”
We all have challenges in our lives, but maybe there’s been something that you’ve learned in your life that you feel would make you a great male role model and mentor? Game On! offers volunteers a short-term opportunity where you’ll join other adult volunteers once a week for 7-8 weeks to mentor a group of boys about healthy living and communication skills.
Learn more about our volunteering opportunities online here. You can make a difference.