In 2019 and 2020, we selected a Big of the Year. This year, we honor a Match of the Year, to highlight the contributions that all match participants (Big, Little and Parent/Guardian) make in a successful match relationship.
Please meet our 2021 Match of the Year- Big Javon, Little Javieon, and parent Ashley! This match has demonstrated consistency, resilience, and creativity by staying connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been matched for over two years. Javon and Ashley are dedicated to helping Javieon achieve his brightest possible future. Their commitment to their match despite the trials of 2020, paired with the incredible impact they have had on one another, are just two of the reasons why Javon, Javieon, and Ashley are the 2021 Match of the Year.
You might remember this match. Javon and Javieon were highlighted in last year’s agency video, and also made the front cover of our Winter 2019/2020 newsletter. (Don’t get our print newsletters? Email Matt to sign up.) Maybe you’ve seen them around Battle Creek getting haircuts or having breakfast together.
STAYING CONNECTED AMIDST COVID-19
Not only have Javon, Javieon and Ashley stayed connected through the COVID-19 pandemic- they have also made a substantial impact on one another’s lives. Ashley shares that she feels so blessed that her son has someone in his life that he looks up to and can confide in. She explains that the match hit it off almost immediately, and that she would absolutely recommend the program to anyone.
THE IMPACT OF MENTORING
When asked what she most appreciates about the program, Ashley offers that she loves to know her son is “loved by someone else out there besides his home.” She explains that she can ask Javon to have a conversation with Javieon about something that’s going on in their lives. Hearing Javon’s perspective can be so helpful for Javieon because of the influence he has.
Javon, Javieon and Ashley truly view each other as family. Javon explains that his relationship with Javieon has helped him be a better dad because he knew Javieon before his kids were born. He shares that being matched before having children of his own helped him to understand what it’s like to be involved in a child’s life.
Being matched also helped Javon understand the importance of accepting kids as they are while challenging and encouraging them to press into their strengths.
HOW TO BE A KING
Javieon shares that Javon has taught him “how to be a king.” He wants him to be a part of his life forever, no matter what. When asked how long he wants to stay in touch with his Big, Javieon states, “Until I forget about him. I could never forget about him.”
Congratulations, Javieon, Javon, and Ashley! We are pleased to award you this honor, and look forward to supporting your match for many years to come. The impact you are making, together, exemplifies what can happen when we ignite the potential of those around us.