After visiting Mexico on a service trip in high school, Mason Bourdeau, a lifelong resident of Lynn, knew he wanted to make a difference in the community. “I had always been aware of Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Mason explained. “Becoming a Big Brother seemed like the best way to give back directly to my community.”
Now, as a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, Mason spends each Sunday mentoring Josh (9), who currently lives with his grandmother in Lynn. As a social worker, Josh’s grandmother was familiar with the benefits of the program. She was so eager for Josh to be matched with a Big Brother that she placed him on the waiting list when he was only five. She was thrilled when Josh was matched with Mason when he turned 8.
Mason and Josh have been matched for over a year. Youth that have been matched with a mentor for at least one year report higher self-confidence and success in school. They are also more likely to avoid risky behavior and have increased trust in adults.
Together, Mason and Josh enjoy going to the movies, exploring the city, or taking advantage of tickets to sporting events, museums and concerts generous donors offer to Big Brothers. Even simple, everyday activities help them build their friendship. One weekend Josh’s grandmother suggested Mason take Josh for a haircut, which has since become a tradition for the duo. “We’re excited to experience new things together,” Bordeau says.
Mason has already observed the way Josh is benefiting from having a Big Brother. “It’s great to see him responding so well to the program”, he shared.
Despite the positive impact that the growing friendship is having on “Little Brother Josh”, Bordeau admits that it’s similarly had a huge impact on himself as well.
“Being a Big Brother is one of the most fulfilling things that I’ve ever done” said Bordeau.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay is one of the mentoring programs available in the Lynn area that help create empowering youth-adult relationships. For more information on mentoring opportunities in Lynn, click here.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay
For more than 60 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay has worked to ensure that every child has the support from caring adults that they need for healthy development and success in life. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay makes meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers ("Bigs") and children ("Littles"), ages 7 through high school graduation, in communities across Massachusetts Bay. They develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people.
There are still more than 800 boys in the Massachusetts Bay area waiting for a Big Brother. To find out how you can make a difference in a child’s life, visit www.bbbsmb.org.