Ordinary Experiences Can Make an Extraordinary Difference


Date: August 14, 2020

Little Brother Jay and Big Brother Ryan have a relationship that is the result of deep commitment and dedication to one another. First matched in 2017, Jay has seen Ryan show up even when it seemed like he was the only stable adult in Jay’s life. Growing up in the foster care system can be complicated most days and Ryan has not missed a beat in being there for Jay.

Recently, during a routine check-in to see how everything was going, Jay shared that, “I can talk to Ryan about anything and he’ll listen.” He also stated that Ryan was helping him develop and achieve his goals. Jay explained that with Ryan’s coaching, he had recently opened a bank account and was using the money he earned from his part-time job to start saving for his future. When describing this to BBBSL staff, Jay’s voice was filled with pride at this accomplishment. By helping Jay open a bank account, Ryan is teaching financial literacy skills that will be incredibly beneficial in the years to come.

When asked to reflect over the past year Jay’s mentor, Ryan said, “Being a Big Brother has made me so much more appreciative of everything in life, and I’ve learned that you truly can make somebody’s life extraordinary through ordinary experiences.” When describing these ordinary experiences, Ryan said, “We’ve volunteered together, grilled out, gone to the beach, and played just about any sport that you can think of. This experience has been eye opening like no other, and it only strengthens my commitment to giving back to our youth.” Ryan’s commitment to Jay is unwavering. Ryan also shared that he is, “most excited about the opportunity to see Jay continue growing and maturing into a young adult, and achieving his goals!” Ryan explained, “I first met [Jay] when he was 13, and he’s quickly approaching his Junior Year in High School and 17 years of age. Jay is family to me, not just my Little Brother that I gained through Big Brothers Big Sisters!"