I have insecurities like anyone, and I’m uncertain as to what will happen in the future. I want to achieve many things, to have a successful career and a positive impact on the world. What will such a career look like though? I’m unsure. How will I have an impact on the world? I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that I need to continue to be a Big Brother for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sault Ste. Marie. It is an experience that has truly changed my life.

My initial motivation was to acquire volunteer experience. I remember feeling excited. My thoughts were racing. My heart was pounding, and I was trying to figure out what to do – and what I was going to say – once we met. “Can I actually do this, and will I have enough time in my already busy schedule?” was the main thought on my mind during the day of our match-introduction.

Well, that thought occurred in September of 2014 and, after almost two years of mentoring my Little Brother, I am proud to say that I want to do this and need to spend time with him. He and I have developed a friendship that, to me, will last a lifetime. I have had the privilege of teaching him many things, such as how to play football and how to downhill ski. I have learned many things from him as well. To be honest, when I reflect upon my thought process from before I became a Big Brother, I feel humbled by the knowledge that a scientific approach is not the only answer, as I don’t need to know what ‘could work’ and ‘how long’ I may have to spend with my Little Brother in order to help him develop into the intelligent and respectful young man that he is becoming.

In short, I now realize that all I have to do, so to speak, is “man up” and continue to take the time to build a relationship with him, to be his friend. We are both learning from each other and, as time passes, I look forward to the evolution of our friendship through the journey ahead. So, in knowing that there are many young adolescent men out there hoping to find a mentor, are you willing to become a Big Brother? More importantly, are you willing to Man-Up?