For Gurv, a criminology student studying at the University of the Fraser Valley, the reasons he became a mentor seemed pretty clear: helping kids stay out of trouble, providing a child with a safe, positive outlet, and being able to give back to the community. What he didn’t expect to get out of it has been the most impactful benefit so far: a true friendship.
Gurv has become more than a Big Brother to Alex; he has been a teacher, a coach, a role model, somebody to turn to. Gurv is the “first person I go to with my problems,” Alex explains, “I look up to him.” As a match, Gurv’s bond with Alex is instantly recognizable, and truly shows through their mutual love of sports. Alex claims that he was a very shy guy when the two first met, but he wanted to become more active. Gurv took it upon himself to make this happen: he began inviting Alex to football games that he and his friends organized. After tons of sweat, work, and effort, “he just shined,” said Gurv of Alex, “he worked his butt off and could see results.” This was more than just a new skill learned, the proud tone in Gurv’s voice was proof that this was an accomplishment, that they had worked together to share a passion and reach a goal.
“I see him as my actual little brother,” remarked Gurv, as he encourages Alex to try new things and grow his skills and talents. Of their newest adventures, cooking seems to be the favourite. Alex enthusiastically described a time that they made perogies together, excitedly detailing how fun it was creating something with Gurv. Gurv was also eager to share their cooking experiences, wholeheartedly describing the way Alex ‘eyeballs’ the ingredients, Alex reassuring him that that’s how the guys on TV do it. The adventures they embark on together have strengthened the bond between Gurv and Alex, as they both teach each other about life.
Being a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Community Match program has had a lasting effect on both Alex and Gurv. Matched over two years ago, both Gurv and Alex plan on continuing their friendship for years to come. The friendship between these two continuously grows, as it is evident from their story that one match has made a world of difference for both Alex and Gurv.