After visiting Mexico on a service trip in high school, Meson Bourdeau, now 29, 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” Bordeau 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, Bordeau 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 Meson when he turned 8.
In January, Meson and Josh will have been matched for one 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, Meson 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 Meson take Josh for a haircut, which has since become a tradition for the duo.
“We’re excited to experience new things together,” Bordeau says.
Bourdeau has already observed the way Josh is benefitting 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.
Unbelievably, 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, please contact Lori Breighner at Lbreighner@bbbsmb.org or visit http://www.bbbsmb.org