Meet the match: Brendan and Samuel

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.

Mentor Samuel Rodrigues and his mentee Brendan Bedford, 17, attended their first Patriots game ever on Sept. 16. The pair have been matched for more than two and a half years through M.Y.H.O.O.D.

When they were first matched, Brendan was suffering from low self-esteem. However, Samuel says he's come a long way since then: "He has built his self-esteem by reading books, attending forums, volunteering in homeless shelters, and getting involved in group activities with kids his age."

For Samuel, the biggest benefit of their relationship has been watching Brendan grow into a confident young man who makes an effort with everything he does and has goals, including attending college. Their favorite match activity is playing basketball, which helps them learn how to work with each other.

M.Y H.O.O.D is a creative and educational outlet for youth striving to accomplish goals and dreams in life. M.Y H.O.O.D targets youth between the ages of 10 to 19 in Massachusetts that need support groups and direction. M.Y H.O.O.D presents the tools and knowledge necessary to explore how to achieve and make dreams become reality. For more information: www.myhoodmentors.com.