On June 27th, nearly 1,000 mentors and mentees from across the state came to Fenway Park for Mentoring Night to celebrate relationships and watch the Red Sox take on the Twins. Some of the matches appeared on the field during the pregame activities. Representing the Old Colony YMCA, mentee Chandler and his mentor Rob threw out the first pitch.
Five years ago, mentor Rob and mentee Chandler were matched by the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program as part of the Old Colony YMCA. Their program offers a variety of services to youth in 29 communities in Southeastern Massachusetts, like providing children with positive, caring adult mentors. They believe that every child can benefit from having a dedicated friend outside of the family; someone who is there for that child and spends time with him or her because they want to.
Rob has positively supported Chandler through many difficult personal challenges. Chandler’s grandmother saw having a Big Brother as an opportunity for Chandler to have an outlet for stress, to help him develop confidence, and to focus more on his schoolwork. His mother said that Chandler has achieved better grades and joined the cross country team with Rob’s encouragement. Along with a part-time job, Chandler also serves as a peer mentor at his school to pay forward the cycle of mentoring.
Although Chandler was a bit shy when he first met Rob, they immediately bonded over their shared love of sports. Not only are they big fans of the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots, Rob also attends Chandler’s basketball games from time to time. Despite living quite a distance from each other, they have both stayed committed to their mentoring relationship and meet each other weekly. They are very excited for the opportunity to see each other again to throw out the first pitch at Fenway.