In December, one of our caseworkers did a match closing interview with a Big Brother. Andrew was with his match Nick for 5 years! The reason the match was closing was because Andrew was going away for training to be a police officer. He was also going to be proposing to his girlfriend, then hopefully planning a wedding. Life was getting busy for him. He told his little brother this and it went over well. Nick understood.
During the interview with Andrew I asked if there were any changes in Nick that he noticed over the five years. He stated that one of the highlights was hearing from Nick’s parents about how well he was doing and that they attributed that to his mentorship with Andrew.
However, the biggest success for which Andrew was proudest, came within the first year of the match. During outings to the driving range they would drive by MJ’s (a roadside, fast food, burger joint). One time they stopped in after the range and Andrew treated Nick to dinner and he was happy to do so. Nick loved it there! Then Andrew found out on a separate outing that Nick was a cigarette smoker, at 12 years old. This didn’t sit well with Andrew. They went to the driving range again and knowing how much Nick raved about the food he was treated to at MJ’s and that he would ask to go there after the driving range, Andrew had a plan. When Nick asked if they could go there again after the range, Andrew stated that they are not going there as long as Nick is a smoker. It didn’t take long for Nick to quit smoking and ask again after the driving range if they could stop in at MJ’s. Andrew had a small conversation with Nick about smoking… then took him to MJ’s. As far as Andrew is aware Nick quit smoking as they talked about it and he never smelled it on him again. He felt confident that Nick had indeed quit smoking at 12 years old.