Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont is so pleased to recognize Hayden and Christian!  Big Brother and Little Brother were matched in October of 2018 as part of our site based mentoring program.  Their journey started when Hayden was a freshman at High Point University while Christian was in third grade. Hayden’s desire to serve as a mentor immediately fell as a priority along with his course schedule and Lacrosse team expectations. In the process of creating the match, it was clear that Hayden was going to be an “all in” mentor.  His eagerness and desire to serve as a mentor continues even today in as we are practicing stay at home measures during the COVID 19 pandemic. They now keep in touch with Christian’s mother’s permission via FaceTime, texting and phone conversations each week.

The match support specialist has observed these two enjoying each other’s company through activities that are deliberate and engaging.  Hayden and Christian spend time shooting a basketball, playing Uno and eating lunch together, all of which are so simple yet special times to both of them. 

When asked what it means to have Hayden in his life, Christian smiles from ear to ear.  He states that he is so happy he has such a good friend. He believes that Hayden really cares about him.  Christian shares that Hayden gives good advice and tells me how I can do anything and how being respectful to my teachers can go a long way.  Christian shares that love his time with Hayden.

When speaking with Christian’s mother, she remains consistent when sharing how much Hayden means to her son.  She feels that Christian has a close friend in Hayden.  Christian talks about Hayden with his family and friends.  The mother shares that having her child involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters has served her child well.  She believes that the friendship is strong and it means so much to her knowing that Christian has someone to lean on and talk to about anything. She is very thankful that Hayden is such a good role model for her son.

Christian’s teacher states that Hayden is the epitome of what his vision is of having a site based Big mentor his students.   Hayden is dependable and it is evident that the two are very well connected.  Christian’s teacher states that he has gained more confidence now demonstrating a stronger desire to make positive decisions in work ethic and social skills. 

Hayden shares that he tries to be seen mostly as a friend but also as a confident and mentor for Christian.  Hayden states, “We talk about how we both are doing in school during the week.  We talk about classwork, friends, family and the ins and outs of football and basketball.” Hayden believes that this balance between physical activities and conversation has allowed the two to deepen their friendship and learn more about each other. 

Hayden notes that when he first starting visiting Christian, he was very soft-spoken.  Even though Christian has always been polite and well mannered, he was not very outgoing and hesitant to open up.  Over the course of their time together, Hayden describes the transformation as watching Christian grow into a more confident, self-assured version of himself.  Hayden shares how Christian says hello to people in the hallway that he recognizes and talks all about the various activities going on in his life.  This has transferred into the classroom, too.  Christian’s favorite subject is math and has begun showing Hayden his new skillful abilities to do double-digit multiplication.

Hayden shares that being a Big Brother has been a great way to get connected to the local community in High Point and has shown him not to take anything for granted. Christian has a tenacious work ethic and often reminds him that you can get anywhere in life as long as you work hard. Nothing in life is guaranteed and one’s current situation should never define their path. Overall, serving as a mentor has been an extremely rewarding experience to watch Christian grow.  Hayden shares that he is very thankful he has another year with

Hayden’s advice to anyone considering becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister is trying to find an area of common ground between themselves and their Little, sharing, “Christian and I share a love for sports and this allowed us to bridge the gap from mentor to friend and has helped us learn a lot about each other.”