I have been matched with my buddy for more than a year, and I have really enjoyed all the time we have spent together, making memories and building our friendship. I decided to be a mentor, because I value making connections with people and saw this as a chance to develop a special and meaningful relationship. Another factor that led me to becoming a mentor was the opportunity to learn from my buddy. My buddy and I often meet on Wednesdays or Sundays. When we hangout, we like to talk and watch videos together on YouTube. I feel like my buddy, and I are very similar in the sense that we both love to relax and rewatch videos from our favorite movies, but we both also enjoy being outside and taking in the nature surrounding us. When the weather is nice, my buddy likes to walk; so, we often hold hands and walk around her backyard. My buddy will create a ton of fun games to do while we are outside, or we’ll come up with fun questions to ask one another. One of my favorite things about my buddy is how passionate she is about the characters she creates through her drawings. I think her drawings are really cool, and I love that she shares them with me. Every time she sees me, she says, "Hey Mom! It's my new friend!" and it warms my heart every time she says that. I have gained a lot from seeing the world from my buddy’s point of view. Being around her leads me to be more creative and appreciative of the perspective of others. I am very fortunate to be a part of this Athletes for Kids program and I thank my buddy’s family for allowing me to be a part of my buddy’s life.
Kaylia is an absolute joy to have around. She has a lovely calm personality which immediately makes our daughter feel comfortable. She has a natural ability to understand our daughter’s needs and she has never ending patience. She will happily sit and watch the same videos on YouTube over and over and always shows enthusiasm for whatever our daughter wants to do. I can happily leave our daughter in Kaylia’s capable hands knowing she will have the best time. She truly adores Kaylia and is always excited to see her. It has made such a difference having Kaylia as a mentor and a friend and it means so much to us when we hear our daughter tell everyone “My best friend is Kaylia.” We can see an improvement in her confidence and communication skills when she is around Kaylia which is a sure sign, she is delighted to be with her. We are so happy to have Kaylia in our lives and I can’t state enough the difference she has made in helping our daughter experience and understand the joys of friendship.