STRENGTHENING OUR YOUTH
Twelve-year-old Dylan is an active, fun-loving young boy growing up in Baltimore City. He loves sports (especially softball), science, music and movies. While Dylan’s mom, Maria, has a close bond with her son, she also knows just how much Dylan could benefit from having a male figure in his life that he could trust and talk to when her advice just isn’t enough. Dylan was in need of a mentor. Unfortunately, getting that mentor proved to be difficult, and Dylan had been on the waitlist at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake (BBBSGC) for nine months.
Following the unrest in Baltimore in 2015, it became clear that Dylan could use a Big Brother more than ever to help him understand and navigate through growing up in a city with such deep-rooted problems. Thanks to supporters of United Way’s Maryland Unites campaign, Dylan was paired with a Big Brother, Jacob*, this past summer. The two of them can now be found taking trips to the Inner Harbor and talking about school, music, sports and current events. Big Brother Jacob has even started attending Dylan’s softball games and coaching him on his swing and defensive skills.
Dylan is not the only child that has reaped the benefits. A total of 56 youth, most from a long waiting list, were successfully matched with mentors because of the improved capacity of staff at BBBSGC. In a time when the story is often one of struggle and unrest, it is stories like Dylan’s and so many others that give us hope. It is stories like these that remind us to Live United.