Seven (Little Brother) and Matthew (Big Brother) have been matched since the fall 2019 in the site based program and are continuing strong. Seven was in the second grade and Matthew was a freshman at High Point University. Before Seven met Matthew, he was having difficulty interacting with his teachers and other children in his school. He was shy and seemed angry and defiant on most days. He was scoring below grade level in math and reading.  Matthew visited Seven once a week for one hour at his school. During their time at school, they played sports for thirty minutes and then they went to the library and played games that involved reading and goal setting. In March 2020, their last in person visit for that year was at a Lacrosse clinic, just a day before everything shot down. During the Lacrosse clinic, Matthew and other Lacrosse Bigs taught Littles how to play lacrosse. During Covid, Matthew asked if he could have Seven’s e-mail because he was trying to connect with him, and his phone number was not working. According to Seven and his mom, Matthew wrote him daily, he would check up on him, and his family. In the fall 2021 Seven and Matthew transitioned to the site based after school program called Sports Buddies because Seven’s school was still not allowing volunteers to enter the school. Seven and Matthew were able to play several sports such as football, tennis, baseball and basketball. They also have attended sporting events at High Point University, and many other field days.

What makes this match special is their relationship and how much of a positive and meaningful impact in both of their lives. They both connect through sports, and there has been several positive improvements in both of their lives. For instance, Seven was not on reading or math level before he was matched. After one year with Matthew, Seven started improving his grades. He is now reading at grade level and he is also at grade level in math.

Big Brother Matthew shared this in his own words “When I first came to High Point University as a freshman, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the community surrounding my school. I came to High Point to play lacrosse, and my coach always made it known to us how important it is to give back to our community and make a difference. I feel that the impact of my relationship with Seven not only affects the two of us but also those around us. We inspire others by showing them that this isn’t just a volunteer program, it is truly a special relationship that will carry on for the rest of our lives. I truly believe that we have inspired people around us to join BBBS and experience it for themselves. Seven has had such a strong impact on me. He has helped me grow and mature and experience such a level of pride and protection over someone else. It was not something comfortable for me to do, as I had to learn what it means to be a big brother. I had to learn about taking responsibility for someone else, protecting them, and how properly guiding someone much younger than me.”

Little Brother Seven shared this in his own words “Matthew is very special to me because he has a very friendly personality. He also likes sports like I do, and I look up to him because he is a good student-athlete. He plays lacrosse at High Point University, and he has a sports scholarship. I also want to obtain a college scholarship when I grow up. Matthew is fun, smart and friendly to me and to everyone around. Some things Matthew has taught me are to have good manners, to be respectful to others, to work hard, don’t be rude to others, and make good grades. My favorite activities to do with my Big Brother are to play sports, especially football. I don’t have anybody to play sports with, so if it was not for Matthew I would not play football, nor tennis, basketball nor any other sport.”

Some of Seven’s goals for the future are to play high school football, then college football, and get drafted in the NFL. He also has a plan B if that does not work. He would like to become a motivational speaker and travel to different places around the United States and the world. His plan C is to become an English teacher.

Seven now continues in the site based after school program and Ms. Adriana continues to pick him up to take him to see Matthew to different places such as the park, the gym, movie night, tennis, and field days. Each time, Seven tells stories about how much fun he has with his Big.

In the words of Seven’s mom “Matthew’s parents must be so proud, he is a special human being. What makes Seven’s special is that he is very kind, and very humble. He also helps at home. I am proud of the young man he has become. With Matthew’s help and guidance, Seven knows what he wants out of life, and I would love if Matthew would stay his Big Brother forever.