Muhammad was first matched with BBBS when he was seven years old, but unfortunately, his first match had to be closed due to a lack of consistency. At 11 years old, Muhammad was ready to give BBBS another shot, and Thomas stepped in to provide Muhammad with the consistency and dedication he needed to feel ready to branch outside of his comfort zone.
Thomas and Muhammad were only matched in February of this year. Yet, just one month into the match, Muhammad was willing to share with Thomas the nickname that only his friends call him: MoK! Thomas and BBBS staff have taken so much pleasure getting to know MoK and watching him continue to come out of his shell during the last 6 months!
Thomas and MoK’s match is a great example of the potential of the BBBS program. Because MoK is naturally energetic, all he needed was a little time and attention from Thomas to give him the opportunity to fully express his adventurous side. When Thomas heard about BBBS’s Build a Bike event, he immediately nominated MoK for the opportunity to learn how to construct a bike with the help of employees at Johnson Controls in Ann Arbor. Johnson Controls donated 6 bikes, bike helmets, and bike locks and worked with BBBS Littles on bike safety before allowing them to keep their custom-built bikes. In his nomination, Thomas told BBBS staff that MoK had never learned to ride a bike without training wheels and did not have a bike of his own. Thomas was eager to work with MoK on his biking skills and mentioned that MoK was already making great progress in swimming and football!
After the event, MoK was bursting with excitement to try out his brand new bike. Thomas went above and beyond, staying late to teach MoK how to ride a bike without training wheels for the very first time! While MoK struggled at first, he got the hang of riding his bike with remarkable quickness. The look on MoK’s face as he rode his brand new bike around the parking lot for the first time was truly inspiring.
While the match is still relatively new, Thomas and MoK have already developed a productive friendship. Thomas has plans to share his love of music with MoK, and MoK is excited to continue to share his love of sports with Thomas.