Jordan Free began working at Big Brothers Big Sisters in July of 2011, and became a Big shortly thereafter. As a Public Relations VISTA, he knew that he would be working with matches quite frequently and wanted to experience the program as a mentor, not just an employee.
Jordan recalled being introduced to his Little, Martin, for the first time.
“Martin was very polite and respectful, saying ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir’. He was a little quiet, but would always engage in conversation with me if I asked him a question or spoke to him. It was a short meeting, but I remember walking away feeling very excited about him being my Little."
The match quickly discovered that they shared many common interests and activities, and incorporated those into their outings together. Jordan explains,
“Martin and I share a passion for music, and enjoy listening to Michael Jackson and other artists as we drive to our various destinations. One of our favorite places to spend time is on campus at ACU. A few weeks ago we were throwing the football around and we sat down to take a break. Martin looked around the campus and said, ‘Man, I can’t wait to come here . . . I just don’t know if I want to be a quarterback or a wide receiver.’ He really talks about ACU a lot and how much he wants to go to college someday. For an eleven year old kid to be thinking about college at all is pretty impressive.”
Jordan and Martin have been matched for a little over five months now, and have enjoyed a number of different outings together. They have gone to movies, the park, various places to eat, and even went on a hayride back in the fall. It has been through these activities and the time spent together that Jordan has really gotten to know Martin and what a fantastic person he is. He comments,
“Martin is such a great kid, and he continues to impress me every week. He is smart, kind, funny and caring. I remember mentioning to him months ago that my brother had cut his finger during his first day at a new job. He recently asked me how my brother’s thumb was. I had completely forgotten about it and had to ask him what he meant and he reminded me of the story I had told him. I told Martin that my brother was fine, and added how impressed I was with his memory! He obviously has an impressive memory, but more importantly, he is an incredible listener. Martin has a lot of great qualities going for him and I just do my best to highlight those qualities and make sure he knows how talented and special he is.”
This proud Big continues to explain how his Little’s great attitude has made an impact on his match and his life overall. Free says,
“He has taught me how to find joy in the little things again. I hadn’t thrown the football or gone to a playground in a long time, but seeing his excitement in those simple activities have been some of the most memorable for me.”
“There are so many ways that Martin has changed my life for the better. My eyes have been opened to a reality that I hadn’t previously been exposed to. I think the world of Martin, and I would say that best part of having a Little has been the realization that simply spending time with one another has been mutually beneficial; I know that he has made, and continues to make a meaningful impact on my life. He has helped me in ways I never would have anticipated, and hopefully he is gaining as much from this experience as I am.”