From their very first outing at a U of M football game, they felt a camaraderie with each other that has continued to grow ever since. Ryan’s goal for the match is for Aiden to feel like he has an additional member in his support system and based on Aiden’s description of Ryan being “the best!” and a 5 on a scale of 1-5, it’s safe to say this goal has already been met! Congrats Aiden and Ryan!
One very important thing a good Big does for their Little is ignite their potential by broadening their horizons and that is definitely something Ryan does for Aiden. Ryan has introduced Aiden to experiencing professional sports in person and to more information about California, which is where he grew up. Ryan’s stories of his childhood in CA have sparked a great interest in Aiden, who now says Cali is definitely somewhere he wants to visit when he’s older.
Great Bigs also empower their Littles to grow beyond their comfort zones and believe in themselves in new ways. Ryan has done so for Aiden by taking him ice skating, introducing him to new foods, and by letting him make decisions about the activities they do. This expands Aiden’s critical thinking skills and strengthens his confidence in himself, which has helped him come out of his shell more and more in recent months. He was initially more on the quiet/reserved side, but becomes more social and talkative with Ryan each time they are together.
One of Aiden’s great loves is playing basketball and Ryan is there to cheer him on as often as he can be. In being there for Aiden in this way, Ryan shows him that he truly believes in his abilities and will always be there to defend his potential. This support has truly made a difference in Aiden’s life and he told us that he thinks it is “VERY cool that Ryan wants to come and watch me play!” Congratulations again to these two for being our Match of the Month and for being a part of our village. We can’t wait to see what you two do next!