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The Brotherly Bond of Matt & Max

Little Brother Max and Big Brother Matt are celebrating. After seven special years of friendship, support, and mentorship, Max is turning 18, and they have come together – via Zoom – to celebrate their graduation from the Big Brothers Community Mentoring program.

Straight away, it is clear to see that they have developed a brotherly bond over the years. Reflecting on the first time they met, Max remembers that his first words were, “WOW, he looks so old.” Matt – 24 at the time – accepts that he looks “really old now” seven years later.

Matt was first drawn to the mentoring program because it provides a real opportunity to make a long-term impact on a child’s life. “With Big Brothers, you are not just giving a little bit of money or showing up to events; instead, you are investing your time in one person, and hopefully making a bit of a difference to their life.”

Max and his mother, Felisa, joined the program when Felisa realized she was “not running fast enough to catch the Frisbee anymore – and it felt like something was missing.” Felisa said she was “a bit nervous at first, but Big Brothers made it feel so comfortable, so safe.”

It didn’t take long for Max to begin showing the impact of having a Big Brother. Felisa explains that “when he was younger Max would imitate Matt, he would come home and speak the same way Matt did. I was really happy to see him copying Matt as a role model.”

The foundational support from Matt has had a hugely positive effect on Max over the last seven years. Matt took Max to his first-ever sports game and even helped him see the importance of school. Max says he “was the type of kid who complained about school, who thought all of the courses were dumb. But over time – and with Matt’s help – I started to see the importance of some of them. I still think some of them are dumb, though.”

As Max prepares to move abroad for University, it is an exciting moment to reflect on Matt’s role in reaching this point. While this is the end of their time with Big Brothers, Matt and Max agree this is not the end of their friendship.

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