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Success Stories - Our Big Brothers

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Who are our Big Brothers? Quite simply, they're just regular guys with a love and appreciation for giving back to their community. We've highlighted some of our especially dedicated male volunteers below. Do they sound like you? Have you thought about becoming a Big Brother? With more than 60 kids waiting to be matched, there's no better time to apply than now. Start Something Today!

Jagdeep Atwal

I have always wanted to give back to the community and I enjoy being around kids. Becoming a Big Brother, for me, was a simple choice. Becoming a Big Brother has been all that I thought it would be, and more. One might think that you are just making a difference in your match's life, but you also get so much in return as well.

Being a Big Brother is easy and fun. My Little and I have turned out to have much more in common than I initially thought we did. We love playing sports outside, walking the dog and playing board games. As in any new friendship, it takes a little time before I really got to know my Little, but it was worth it. The honesty and the way he views everything around him has changed my perspective on a few things and made me a better person. --Jagdeep Atwal


Andrew Bretz 2I am a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and McMaster University, specializing in teaching Shakespeare. I came from a family of three boys (my poor mother!) and when I was young, my family moved quite frequently, and during that time, it was difficult to make friends. One of the things I love about the Big Brothers Big Sisters program is that I can help kids who are simply in need of a friendly face, like I did when I was younger. 

Sometimes, all it takes is just being able to play a board game with a child and that makes their day, because you cared enough to be there. --Andrew Bretz


Dan DiPaoloMy name is Dan and I currently work at Blount Canada in Guelph, but I am striving to become a police officer with the O.P.P. I have been mentoring with BBBSG for about a year and a half, and I have mentored young boys in the Big Bunch and Game On programs, and now I'm participating in the Male Volunteer Recruitment Campaign. Growing up, I was privileged to be able to be involved in many different activities and sports - mainly hockey and lacrosse. I continue to be active in sports, as much as possible.

 

With the BBBSG programs, I have been able to coach and guide these young boys through the different activities that I, too, enjoyed when I was younger. It is fulfilling to be a part of a group full of excitement and fun. Not only do I get to watch, but I can jump in and play, too. 

I would encourage anyone interested in volunteering to ask lots of questions. There are so many available BBBSG mentoring programs - find which one is right for you, because there's something for everyone. These kids look up to the volunteers and look forward to each and every outing. Maintain a positive attitude, be a good friend, and most importantly, have fun. --Dan DiPaolo


Dave Piitz 3My name is Dave and I have been volunteering with BBBSG for more than four years. When I am not volunteering with the In-School Mentoring program I fly as a pilot with Air Canada Jazz. Mentoring allows me to pass on many valuable lessons that I have learned to the next generation and allows me to take an hour a week away from all the stress and pressures of life - just to be a kid again.

 

Being a Big Brother is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences I have ever had, and I encourage anyone considering becoming a mentor to give it a try! -- Dave Piitz


Evan KlieseMy name is Evan and I've been volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph for approximately two years. I am very enthusiastic, I love building things, I love being outdoors (fishing, hiking) and I love all types of sports. I became a part of the organization because I understand the importance of having a positive role model; my hope is to be a positive influence in these young boys' lives.

 

Currently, I work in construction, and I am a volunteer firefighter in the community. It it my hope and dream to one day become a full time firefighter. I have really enjoyed my time with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph and I challenge other young men, like myself, to be the positive role model in someone else's life - the same kind of positive role model I enjoyed growing up. --Evan Kliese


Mike McIntyreAfter graduating from the University of Guelph and deciding to make this city my home, I decided that I wanted to become more involved in the community. Having heard great things about Big Brothers Big Sisters, I went to an information session and was immediately drawn towards becoming a mentor. I was matched with an enthusiastic 9-year-old boy and we clicked immediately over our mutual love of hockey. From canoeing to playing mini-sticks, or bowling to hiking, we always enjoyed our weekly visits and grew close very quickly.

 

The thing that surprised me most over our eight years of being matched was how much of an impact he had on me. Being a Big Brother has easily been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and one that I would recommend to anyone who's interested. --Mike McIntyre