Hayden Estano & Moose
My name is Hayden, and this is my Little Bro, Alexander “Moose.” We have been matched through the site-based program for 2 years. Through my time working in Law Enforcement, I have seen the opportunity that I have to make a positive impact on the community. Being a part of Big Brother Big Sisters provides that same opportunity, on a more personal level, with a younger member of the community. I wanted to be a part of leading a positive influence on a Little while learning and growing from his worldview as well.
Since we are in the site-based program, we stay at Moose’s school during our visits. More often than not, you can bet we are playing cards or board games together. Sometimes we even get to show off some card tricks/magic. Moose’s favorite memory was playing Blackjack together. We were talking so much that we kept forgetting our place in the game and having to start over. We are able to meet during his lunch hour, which gives us a good amount of time to talk and catch up with events going on in each others lives. When we were not able to meet in person, we got into the habit of writing letters back and forth.
The enjoyment I find in being a Big far exceeds something I can put into words. It really goes both ways in terms of learning from each other. I enjoy being a role model to someone and providing advice, life lessons, and things I have learned from the role models that have positively affected me in my own life. Over the past 3 years, being able to watch Moose grow as a person has been a reward in itself. It helps remind me of the simply things in life, it provides separation from work, and it is a good reminder of why I signed up for my current profession.
In a way, being a part of Big Brother Big Sisters grounds you as a person, helps you to reflect and be thankful for what you have and to give something as simple as time. Moose was first matched because he was having a tough time in 6th grade and was looking for a friend to be able to talk to and hang out with. He said that his time with me- just talking and hanging out- helped him get through the tough times. When he was asked about me, he responded in typical Moose fashion, “He’s a cool dude. And he’s a cop!” There you have it.
For those considering being matched, here is my advice: Do it. I know it is easy for all of us to say, “I already don’t have enough time because of…” Forget that. Being a part of Big Brothers Big Sister myself, I know that they provide flexibility. Be transparent with your time, and they will still provide a match that works for you to make a difference in a Little’s life. Do it for yourself, do it for someone else, and be the positive influence you would want a member of your family to have!