Meet Waleed, a 21-year-old University student, who wanted to make a difference in his community. He was determined to make an impact in the life of a young person, and was inspired to get involved through hearing others’ stories. Waleed wanted to leave his mark; he wanted others to get involved through hearing his testimonial.
He was first approached by a friend from school about an opportunity to become a volunteer, and then one year later, Waleed was officially matched with his Little Noah. They have now been matched for three years.
Waleed would describe the responsibilities he has as a mentor as being a good role model, and providing his mentee with a good environment to learn and grow. Most importantly, he would like his mentee to have a voice and have fun. When he was first matched with his mentee, he quickly learned he could establish a great relationship with Noah and build rapport.
Some of the activities that Waleed and Noah enjoy doing are playing sports such as tennis, football, hockey, baseball, swimming, rollerblading, and biking. Some of their fondest memories include baking cookies, playing video games, and attending two hockey games where they met hockey player, Darryl Sittler. Since mentoring Noah, Waleed has seen remarkable differences in his Little’s behaviour, such as seeing him be more engaged and happier. Waleed would describe Noah as energetic, adventurous and fun-loving.
Waleed balances volunteering with his commitments by prioritizing spending time with Noah on weekends. He believes it’s important to do so because he is keen on helping others.
Waleed’s advice for anyone wanting to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters: Go for it! “Don’t hesitate if you cannot commit to a certain time, there are always ways around it. Also, once you have a mentee, be patient with them as it may take a while for them to open up.”