John & Jaylon: The Gift of Discovery
Whether due to a lack of finances, family support, resources or educational access, for many BBBS Littles, the world they experience can be limited. So, when a Little then chooses to close him or herself off to others, they may only see a sliver of the opportunities that are possible for their life. Having a Big can change that, offering Littles a whole new view of the world, and their place in it.
When he was young, Jaylon struggled with social skills and, consequently, isolated himself from other kids. To add to this isolation, the neighborhood he was growing up in was not very safe, so his mom did not allow him to play outdoors. In 2013, all of this changed when Jaylon, who was 15 at the time, was matched with Big Brother John. Their match allowed him to find confidence, social skills, and exposure to new opportunities outside of his home.
“When we were first matched, we tried to do as many outdoor activities as possible,” said John. “We also attended Monday game night at a local comic book shop fairly often.” Such diverse activities expanded Jaylon’s world. And the exposure to gamers and comic book readers, those with interests similar to his own, helped Jaylon develop the confidence to initiate conversations and talk openly with others.
Jaylon is currently attending Tuskegee University in Alabama where he is studying animal science, with plans to attend Morehouse School of Medicine to get his master’s degree in Biomedical Research. And John is still a part of his life, helping Jaylon to keep moving forward and to stay focused on his goals.
“I was lucky to be matched with someone who already had the ambition to succeed in education, and beyond. I’ve tried to share my experience and wisdom without interfering too much in his own development,” said John. “And that has been a benefit to me, as it has forced me to find that balance with Jaylon.”
“Jaylon is no longer the quiet and isolated kid he was at fifteen,” said John. “He is a person who is going to go far in life.”
Clearly, he already has.
Your donation makes matches, and opportunities, like this possible. Be the Reason a child succeeds. Give today.