What do our Bigs have to say about their mentoring experience?


“What I like about being a Big Brother is that it forces me to get out of my rut and try new things. For example, we have taken archery lessons, trampoline jumping and modern arts and crafts lessons together. I doubt I would have had those experiences on my own.”

-Mark Manuel, Big Brother

“I felt helpless about the state of the world—with the violence, poverty and heartbreak one witnesses daily. I started thinking:

‘If I can’t change the world, then perhaps if I can impact even just one person’s life in a positive way, then THAT would be something.’ 

I could not think of a better way than becoming a Big Brother. The relationship we have is for now and the untold, unknown future—but for sure, I am the one who is blessed in this relationship.”

-Jacob Blass, Big Brother


“I enjoy being a Big because it keeps me young and allows me to see the world anew—through the eyes of a young and idealistic person. I also like to provide him with a safe, non-judgmental listener and another adult role model. Plus, we do a lot of fun stuff together! Bicycling, hiking, photo safaris, volunteering at Eblen and MANNA.”

-Calvin Allen, Big Brother 

“My Little and I share a love of outdoor adventure and Big Brothers Big Sisters has given us many opportunities to experience those adrenaline rushes. From white water canoeing to horseback riding and river rafting, we’ve become partners in acquiring skills and conquering fears. Girl Power!”

-Pat Bastian, Big Sister


 “For me, it’s been two things:  it’s been fun watching him grow from a little guy to a very impressive young man now. And it’s given me a chance to go in the opposite direction—it’s given me a chance to do things as an adult that I wouldn’t normally do .”

-Jimmy Vestal, Big Brother

“I’d like to say thank you to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. It took a long time, but you matched my son perfectly. They are just like true siblings. They act alike at times, and they don’t even realize it. James plays football and wrestles for Asheville Middle School, and Kevin comes to games. They’ve been brothers for 8 years, and I truly believe they’ll be together for many more.”

~ Jeanette King, mother of a Little Brother


“They were not long, but he understood the words enough to make a correct sentence out of them. In fact, we had fun making sentences. We laughed about some of the sentences he made. I explained that this is what I am talking about – that I believe in him, and I know that he can do things if he tries. I explained that I only wanted him to do the best he can do, not as good as anyone else can do.”

~ Mentors and Matches volunteer, Vance Elementary School

“Watching my Little Sister’s attitude change and improve—with her grades going up as well—shows me the true value that one person can make! She is a true joy!”

-Selene, Big Sister


More from national program volunteers and participants: