Jacob and Wasim: Building Together

Jacob and Wasim: Building Together

As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Our lives are defined by opportunities. Even the ones we miss.” It is why mentors are so important in the lives of young people. They offer guidance and friendship, but they also open the door to unexpected opportunities, as is the case with Big Brother Wasim and Little Brother Jacob. Matched for over 10 years, their experiences together not only expanded Jacob’s world, but have also impacted his goals for the future.

When they were first matched, the pair connected with a place that has continued to impact their lives. “He took me to The Thinkery,” said Jacob. “That was a great moment. If I had never met Waz, I never would have gone. I’d never have done a lot of things.”

They started by only going to the park at The Thinkery, enjoying the rides and even attending an outdoor movie. “As he got older and more curious, I took him inside where there were all these amazing… not full-on engineering, but cool logic problems,” said Wasim. “Like using pipes and levers to direct a ping pong ball to where you wanted it to go. They also had tires and hooks and L-shaped connectors where you could make a tricycle or a truck.”

“He’s very curious, and all of The Thinkery projects are so well done,” said Wasim. “Now, Jacob wants to be an architect. I think that by getting to practice putting parts together and arranging things, at that young age, that definitely helped with his spatial reasoning, which comes in handy if you’re looking to be an architect.”

But the gift of opportunity relates to more than just a special place for these two. There has also been the opportunity to connect and grow with someone else. “When I met Jake, he was a little shy. He was a bit hesitant to try new things,” said Wasim. “Now, he is more assertive and confident. He’s the captain of his varsity wrestling team. He leads them in warm-ups. He’s become a more confident person than when I met him so many years ago. I’ve seen him grow and change for the better.”

Their mentoring journey has brought surprises for each. “Sometimes, I feel like I’m getting more out of our relationship than Jake,” said Wasim. “There are just so many cool things. I’ve learned new perspectives – learning from someone who grew up at a different time than me with different challenges. I have become more empathetic, learned to really listen to people, to be more caring for folks from all different walks of life.”

For Jacob, the surprise has been in having someone who is simply there for him. “He gave me presence,” said Jacob. “I never thought someone would take time out of their life to do so much for me.”

They have given to each other throughout this decade-long relationship… and now they want to express their thanks…


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