Isaiah and Ayden’s journey as a Big Brothers Big Sisters match has been unfolding for three years. Little Ayden, a now 13-year-old, has grown up along with his big, Isaiah who has a growing family of his own.
Their favorite pastime, the arcade, has become a staple in their adventures. Together, they aim for high scores and exchange high-fives over their victories. But beyond the thrill of the arcade, Isaiah has been teaching Ayden an important life lesson – the art of saving. They have been diligently accumulating their points from each arcade visit to eventually purchase an RC helicopter, an item that had become a cherished goal for both of them.
One unforgettable day, last year they even got to attend the NBA All-Star game. This was very exciting for both of them since they are avid Jazz fans. They not only got to go to the game, but they got to sit right on the court, and they even made it onto the TV. Little Ayden’s face lit up when he saw his favorite basketball player in action. The experience left a lasting impression on both of them, reinforcing their bond.
They also got to join the NBA Fundraiser at Top Golf, where Ayden, a first-time golfer, surprised everyone by winning the whole round among 7-8 participants. His natural talent shone through. Ayden also has a passion for skateboarding and basketball, and Isaiah is always there to encourage his skills and his passions.
Reflecting on their lives before they were matched, Isaiah admitted that he had been searching for a way to volunteer but had hesitated, thinking it might be a hassle. Now, he couldn’t imagine life without Ayden and looked forward to each of their outings. For Ayden, life was more mundane before their friendship. He hadn’t had many opportunities to go out and explore, but with Isaiah, everything changed for the better.
When asked for advice to potential Big Brothers or Big Sisters, Isaiah stressed the importance of coming in with an open mind and a willingness to have fun. He emphasized the need to create a safe space and to be a supportive figure, allowing the Little to guide the way.
Their most rewarding moment, Isaiah fondly recalled, was when Ayden won the All-Star Shootout. In Isaiah and Ayden’s story, one could find the true essence of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where a simple act of volunteering has become a transformative friendship for both Big and Little.
Through volunteer opportunities in Utah, you too, can have rewarding experiences like these. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah is searching for potential Bigs to dedicate a little of their time to supporting a child through mentorship. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Big, you can apply today by visiting bbbsu.org/be-a-mentor.