Jackson and Buddy

JHS Mentor Jackson and buddy

When I first got matched with my buddy, I had no idea what to expect. I was nervous that I wouldn’t connect with him or that he may not be interested in having me around. I came to find out that was a misconception. From the day I first met him he has been full of energy and joy. On Sundays I get to go over to his house and do an array of things like lightsaber wars, adding to our Minecraft world, passing around a football, gingerbread houses, board games and whatever else we can think of. We have created a real bond that goes so much beyond a “mentorship”. I think of my buddy as one of my best friends and he continues to make an impact on my life every time I see him. One of my favorite moments was when we were outside, playing 4 square with a basketball while also counting every plane that passed. My buddy then asked, “Can we just sit and enjoy this time together?” this has stuck with me since. When I am struggling, I just think about enjoying the little things. Through this experience I have learned patience and I wouldn’t trade my time with my buddy for anything.

Working with AFK and having Jackson as a part of our family has been a wonderful experience for our son and the rest of the family.

Every week, our son really looks forward to his time with Jackson. It's a really great confidence booster for him to have an older high school friend who has similar interests like board games, video games and jumping on the trampoline.

Our son is also is expanding his interests by learning new things from Jackson like football and basketball.

Our son even got to watch Jackson play at his high school football games, then got to go out on the field to take a picture with Jackson. A definite highlight for him!

Jackson is a wonderful young adult and we're very lucky to have him in our son’s life.

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