Thousands of miles couldn’t separate these two for good! After being matched for a year, Elliot went abroad to study ecology, but their bond remained strong. When he returned to Tucson, they picked up where they left off, and have been matched for a total of three years now. Elliot loves being a Big, and Mike’s mother has expressed how grateful she is for the hope their relationship has given her son. One of their favorite outings in ultimate Frisbee, which you can see in action in our Add a Little videos! Watch their campaign video here!
Share a favorite memory or experience from your match.
Last summer, Mike and I went to Breakers Water Park with his Mom. We had a great time that afternoon riding slide after slide and relaxing in the wave pool. Mike’s enthusiasm never drooped, even in the 100+ degree heat. I was happy to have his mother join us, and it was obvious that Mike was pleased to have her come along, too. Many teenagers push away from their parents and other mentors in their life, and I think Mike is very mature to value these relationships in his own life.
How has becoming a Big Brother impacted you?
Becoming a Big Brother has been a constant source of enjoyment and has also provided me with numerous opportunities for reflection. Mike and I always have a great time hanging out together, but we do discuss more serious topics from time to time. After meeting up, I try to think about any problems Mike brought up and how we could both play a role in addressing them. It could involve me asking him some guided questions to help direct his line of thinking, or me simply saying that I think something is important. Regardless of the specific strategy that I use, being a Big Brother positively challenges me to grow as a friend and a mentor.
What do you think your Little Brother has learned from you?
Mike has told me he noticed that I tend to have an optimistic perspective and that I rarely complain about situations. I’m glad that he has picked up on this trait because it has served me well. A strong sense of optimism and perseverance can help you get through some of the many difficult situations that come about while growing up.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a Big, but isn’t quite sure it’s for them?
I would discuss the value of building a long-term relationship with your Little Brother/Sister and how that relationship is something that benefits the both of you. I learn things from Mike all the time and value his friendship immensely. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this program.
If you could describe your Big Brother in one word, what would it be?
Nice person, interesting, always doing something, fun, and interesting!
What has your Big Brother taught you?
He’s taught me lots of things over the years. He went on a trip across the world, and is always going to lots of different places, and comes and tells me about them. He also taught me about rocks, and I now I want to be a geologist. And I taught Elliot how to do a front flip on the trampoline!
Would you recommend getting a Big Brother to other kids in Tucson? Why?
Yeah! It’s nice to have someone to talk to and get away with. I couldn’t wish for a better Big Brother.
CORINNE (MIKE’S MOTHER):
Why did you enroll Mike?
Mike’s father left when he was only six months old. He had no male role models, and I thought it would be good to meet someone who chose to do this, to make a conscious choice to open up and be with a child.
Big Brothers Big Sisters bought two people together that would have never crossed paths otherwise. Over time, they became more than what they were without each other.
Describe Elliot and Mike’s relationship.
Their relationship began when Elliot was around eighteen or nineteen years old, so I’ve been able to see both of them grow up. Mike survived fifteen months when Elliot was overseas, but he missed his Big Brother. They value their relationship, and they will be friends for the rest of their lives.
How do you think having a Big Brother has impacted Mike?
Elliot has opened Mike up to new possibilities. As an individual, Mike is now able to express himself more, now. Their match gives Mike a guy to talk to, it’s tough being raised in a family of girls! I’m so grateful for Big Brothers Big Sisters.