Philadelphia Union employees work every year with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program for one-on-one mentoring with youth from the Chester, Penn., area.
Today was the Union's final meeting with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, as the program ends with the end of the school year for the students.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters allows kids to connect with their mentor and open up with one another through games and activities. Many of the kids look forward to meeting with their big brother or sister every other week, as it provides them with the opportunity to seek advice and talk about anything on their mind. Not only do the kids get something out of the program, but the mentors do as well.
Below are what some of those involved in the program had to say about their time together this year.
Lubos, Union employee:
"Kanye was a little shy at the beginning, but really opened up. The day he brought his glasses he said, 'I'm going to wear them anyways, I don't care what everyone thinks of me.' I think that's really what opened him up."
“This is my second time in the program and it was really good. I like to have fun, but I was nervous at first and now I think it’s pretty cool. I would tell other kids to join.”
Julia, Union employee:
"I love hanging out with Shamarri and just talking. We met before Christmas and I love it."
“I like to talk, play games and hangout with Julie. This is my second year and my first time meeting her this year. If you get a lot of work at school like I do, the program is a good reason to come out. But you have to get good grades and I think it’s fun to be here.”
Nate, Union employee:
"It's great having them come out and getting to know their life and about them. If they need anything, we'll be there for him. Hopefully Edward knows that he can shoot me a text whenever he needs anything. When we first met, it was pretty natural. We threw a little half hug and handshake."
“Big brothers is fun because you get to come out and discuss things with your big brother. Nate helps me out with things going on in school, like my report card. If you got a bad grade, they can help you out to get a better grade. This is my first year in the program and there was an instant connection between us. I want to come back here next year. It’s real fun and I’m trying to get my cousin into the program.”
Darrell, Union employee:
"I like to catch up with Nasir and talk about our family and friends. I also see how he's doing and take an interest in his life. I want to see him doing well wether that'd be in school or with his friends."
“I like Darrell a lot and connecting with him. I’ve been in the program for two years and I like to come here. Everyone should join.”
“We are always playing games and every time you come there’s an activity, but we can do other stuff too like play Uno and Connect Four. We talk about school, how my grades are and what I like to do. I love to play basketball and football and Kyle helps me out with that. It’s fun being here and I look forward to these events.”
Kyle, Union employee:
"It's been really fun getting to know Jamari a little more. I'm trying to help him find a football team this summer to join and I look forward to these events."