Jayden and Matt only met a few months ago, but it’s already been a win-win for both of them.
That was obvious from the brotherly-like bond between the two when they were special guests at a closed Adelaide Crows training session at Adelaide Oval recently.
Jayden and Matt were matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia, a national youth mentoring not-for-profit that has been supporting vulnerable young people through its mentoring programs for the past 40 years.
Jayden was referred to Big Brothers Big Sisters by his grandparents who could see that their 12-year-old grandson would really benefit from some additional adult support.
Matt, 27, applied to become a Big Brother because he wanted an opportunity to give back and help a young person navigate through their formative teenage years.
“I’ve had a pretty good life so far,” Matt said.
“I wanted to do something in the community and after some research I decided that the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program was for me.”
Matt was thrilled to see Jayden in his element meeting Crows players at training.
“He’s absolutely beaming today,” Matt said.
“This has been an awesome experience for him, and us together.”
Jayden, who plays school football, was certainly lost for words after chatting to his idols, but his smile said it all as he said the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor program has been good so far.
Jayden and Matt’s mentoring match was made possible this year because the Crows Children’s Foundation helped provide additional funding to Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs here in South Australia.
As one of the Crows Children’s Foundation’s key partners for 2018, Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia received much-needed funds to support more vulnerable young people like Jayden who are currently on a waiting list to be matched.
Each year the Foundation provides a grant of assistance to charities which help children – providing funding as well as the priceless additional support of promotion and player involvement.
With the Foundation grant, Big Brothers Big Sisters will be able to continue to support and mentor more vulnerable young people - fostering a sense of belonging and self-worth; and reducing the likelihood of substance abuse and the possibility of entering the justice system.
By matching young people with mentors, it helps them to stay engaged in school and achieve their dreams to become participative and positive community members.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is always on the look-out for mentors, in particular male mentors – if you’re interested, please enquire online via www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org.au