Thank You and God Bless!
MY CONNECTION TO THE FAMILY:
I joined Big Brothers Big Sisters and was matched with Quintino towards the end of June 2016. I was very nervous and didn't know what to expect. BBBS organized a meeting at their facility and I was introduced to my new Little Brother Quintino, his mom Valerie, his younger sister Gabby, and his baby brother Orlando. Tino was quiet at first and so was Valerie. The tension was short-lived though as Gabby just couldn't contain herself. She was smiling from ear to ear and was very forward about how excited she was to meet her big brother's new Big Brother as well as how excited she was to meet her new Big Sister soon. She was so bright and genuine which helped everyone relax. After a few ice-breakers for me and Tino we left the facility with plans to go to a Tin Caps game for our first outing.
Tino and I have been matched for almost two years now and we've done a lot of fun things together. He's been telling me stories since our first outing, most of which are a good mix of truth and exaggeration. I have developed a strong skill of deciphering what is true and what his imagination created. We have been to laser tag a couple times (I always dominate and he's typically towards the bottom of the scoreboard), bowling a few times (where he thinks it's still a victory even if he uses bumpers), several movies and restaurants, and a few more random activities. In that time we have learned a lot about each other and I have to say it's amazing how good BBBS is at matching Bigs and Littles. We have so much in common and have friendly debates over the things we don't. (He doesn't think Eminem is the best rapper ever...please!)
I have had the opportunity teach him a wide variety of things and expose him to new ideas and possibilities he never knew existed. It's impossible to be around him and not smile. His smile is contagious. He is sweet, charming, and really funny. It's been such a joy watching him grow. He's so strong and extremely loyal and has impacted my life is such a positive way. I can't express how much I care about him!
I hate to see him in so much pain. It breaks my heart to see him have to deal with the loss of his mother. He's only 10 years old. I wish I change it. I wish I could take his pain and go through it for him, but I know I can't. The only thing I can do is be there for him and help him in any way that he needs.
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