Kaiden & Shawn, Jaiden & Uttam
Our Match of the Month this month, is two matches. Twins, Jaiden and Kaiden, are matched with Uttam and Shawn...and how could we not highlight them both. Jaiden and Kaiden had been matched when they were younger, but had again been on the wait list for a couple of years, all the while their older brother Keyiyan continued to go on outing with his Big.
This family has been a part of BBBS for many years. Having lost their father at a young age, it has been important to us to support them. But finding the right Bigs for twins, at the same time (which only seemed fair), was not easy.
Uttam moved here for school and is now an Engineer living in Ann Arbor and wanted to do something in the community. He had a friend that was a Big, so looked us up. And Shawn was a Big during undergrad, and now that he’s here for Dentistry School, he signed up again. Two very driven, serious and busy guys….but they also know how to carve time out of their schedules to spend time with the boys!
We were able to match both boys in October…and they have since had a lot of fun on outings, attending Winter Festivals, going to Airtime, bowling and attending BBBS events. They came to our Skills Building Night earlier this year. This is a night when we lead the matches through activities that are skills based – focusing on communication, collaboration and trust – three things that are key in the beginning of a new match relationships. They then set goals for their match year based on the skills that they would BOTH like to further develop. We take the perspective that we all can learn and grow in the match, not just the young people. They also attended our recent Rec Night at the Meri Lou Rec Center in Ann Arbor. This is a time that they open up for our matches, and we had over 125 Bigs, Littles, Parent, Wait List kids, and Big for a Day volunteers running around having fun….blowing off some steam, since it’s too cold to do much outside!
These kinds of activities are just some of what BBBS provides for our matches. It’s important that anyone thinking about becoming a Big know that you’re not alone in this endeavor. We don’t match you and send you on your way….we provide free and low cost activity ideas, monthly check-in’s, training and supports, and group events like Rec Night, community service days, and cool things like our upcoming trips to the DSO, DIA and Heidelberg project, with an Arts and Culture grant.
We are so happy that all four of these guys have found each other and are growing their friendship, as pairs and all together.