Meet the match: Deidra and Hayden

For the ninth consecutive year, New England’s World Champion Nose Tackle Vince Wilfork and The Safety Insurance 98.5 The Sports Hub New England Patriots Radio Network have teamed up with Mass Mentoring Partnership, to ensure that more young people are connected to caring adult mentors who will listen to them, stand by them and guide them. As a part of this initiative, Wilfork and 98.5 have extended invitations to mentor/mentee matches in the MMP network to attend a home game, and MMP chooses a match for each game based on the most compelling stories submitted. On game day, chosen matches are met by Bianca Wilfork and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

This is a highlight of a match that attended a home game this season.

DeidraandHayden-NewtonDeidra Collins, 17 and her mentor Hayden Rockson rounded out their sports events experiences when they attended the Patriots game on Dec. 10. Having previously attended Celtics and Red Sox games, they were able to watch the Pats defeat the Texans through the Match of the Game program.

The pair have been matched for three years through Newton's One to One Program.

Hayden says that Deidra, who has family and friends living in Honduras, has grown by leaps and bounds in her maturity since they've been matched. Previously, Hayden had struggled with making commitments because she's been unsure of where she'll be in the future.

"She has realized that one of the disappointments of growing up is that one has to make choices about time - that not every option will be possible, and that it's OK to decide what *her* priorities will be," says Hayden.

Hayden says they were matched because of their mutual interest in playing softball, and knew immediately they would click.

"Despite our age difference, I consider Deidra a true friend," says Hayden. "We both talk about challenges we face in life, and she has provided some
terrific insights into things I've brought up. I hope I can say I've done the same for her."

Hayden continues, "I know we both feel that the past three years have made a hugely positive impact on both of our lives. Working with Deidra has made me even more enthusiastic about mentoring, and it's something I hope can enrich the lives of my future children some day."