I have been matched with my buddy for almost three years now. As much of an impact I have had on him, he has had just as great an impact on me. We always enjoy walking to parks and playing there. The way my buddy meets me at the door always makes my day. He has such a huge smile and his excitement to see me amazes me every time. He is full of energy and so am I, so we get along very well doing active things. I never thought going into this mentorship I would have such an impactful and meaningful relationship with my buddy, but I do. I look forward to being able to see him every week and what new things he wants to do. The life lessons he has taught me over the years astonishes me, as he is only in elementary school. As our time together closes and I will be going off to college, I want to thank my buddy for all the smiles, energy, and great times we have made. He truly does means a lot to me!
It has been wonderful to see how both our son and Hunter have grown throughout their mentorship. Hunter has shared interests with our son that has allowed him to experience activities that he would not have otherwise been able to, like fishing, football and lacrosse. Hunter is a constant source of fun and independence and that allows our son to develop his own interests and identity away from his other siblings, and the constant distractions that he struggles with daily. They often go on adventures together to the park and playgrounds both on their bikes and walking. Hunter has shown great patience and understanding, and it has been great to watch him overcome challenges that we faced through COVID-19 difficulties. Our son has loved attending Hunter’s games for football and lacrosse and he even voluntarily makes posters to cheer Hunter on while watching, which requires him sitting still and doing fine motor, an activity he actively dislikes.
Our son’s experience in the AFK program has encouraged him to reach into those areas of his life that he previously would avoid, and we will be forever grateful to Hunter and AFK for giving him the confidence to face those challenges.