Match Story: Little Brother Pele and Big Brother Bill

Pele, 15, and Bill were matched in March 2015. Together they enjoy going to baseball games, visiting museums, and just spending quality time together where they can discuss world events, past experiences, and future plans.

Little Brother Pele is confident and kind; Big Brother Bill loves that Pele is friendly with everyone and always has a big smile on his face. When Bill had to have surgery, Pele was so considerate as to even send Bill a fruit basket and get-well balloons.

Bill is so proud of all that Pele has accomplished. He knows so many of Pele’s football and basketball statistics and remembers specific games where he saw Pele shine. Pele is equally as proud of his Big Brother. “Bill gives great advice and leads by example,” Pele says. “He’s also funny, loving, and caring.” Pele credits Bill with helping him learn respect, leadership, and how to remain humble.

As a Big, Bill understands the importance of helping Pele be confident in the young man he is. “Without self-confidence, I believe it is difficult to function in our world today,” Bill says. Thankfully, Bill notes that Pele has been pretty self-assured since the day they met. However, there was a difficult period in Pele’s life where Bill had to help him continue to believe in himself. “In the spring of 2020 Pele’s pride was challenged by needing to repeat eighth grade,” Bill says. “He had to miss an entire year of basketball and football.”

At the request of Pele’s mom, Bill spent time talking with his Little about this decision, the value of education, and how it would help him be more in control of his career choices as an adult. “Now his self-confidence is sky high,” Bill says. “There is little I worry about [with] him now. He is succeeding in school and athletics, while attending morning seminary at his church and holding a part-time job.”

Pele says that Bill has helped him be more self-confident because he reminds Pele how important it is to be a leader, and gives him examples of other leaders and the courage that they have. Pele sees himself as a leader when he shows respect, has integrity, and is trustworthy. “Believing in yourself is important because it’s contagious,” Pele says. “It boosts your confidence and encourages others to believe in you too. It helps you keep positive vibes in and negative vibes out!”

Pele and Bill plan for their friendship to be long-lasting, and Bill wants to continue to support Pele’s academic endeavors. “To emphasize how important my support for him is, I share with him how old I will be when he walks [in] his college graduation,” Bill says. “These Littles are the future leaders of America, [and] the world.”

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