A Big and Two Littles

Let us introduce Jeff and share some of his amazing efforts as a Big. Jeff is currently a mentor for Davis (matched for 14+ years) and Martin (matched for 4 months). There is no questioning Jeff’s generous time commitment and ability to connect with his Littles- but it does not end here! Most fascinating is Jeff’s dedication to Davis and Martin, which is evident in Jeff’s reflections of outings and relationships with both matches. Although a seasoned veteran at being a Big, Jeff is always open to suggestions, reflecting his desire to maximize the relationships he has established with his Littles. In talking with Jeff about both matches not only do Jeff’s abilities as a mentor truly shine, but we are also able to learn about how mentoring has impacted these two young men.

Jeff’s highlights with Davis

"I’ve known Davis now for 14 years, so there are many highlights. However, if I had to pick one, I would pick our trip to Cooperstown, NY, to the Baseball Hall of Fame, when Davis was in his teens. I think Davis enjoyed the trip upstate, and we took a lot of pictures of the various exhibits and plaques in the Hall. Davis is a big baseball fan so I think it was a big thrill for him. We’ve also gone to a few Yankees and Mets games, and even traveled down to Philadelphia to watch my favorite team, the Dodgers, play the Phillies. Even though we’ve done it many times, I would also say one of our favorite things to do is catch a movie, and then go to the Papaya King on 86th and 3rd Avenue for the Chili Dog Special."

"One of the things that impressed me early on about Davis is his love of his mother, his love of animals, and his interest in helping homeless people. If we had a little spare change after an outing, he wanted to give it to the homeless person asking for help by the train station. He has gone through some very tough times in his family, and has overcome some difficult challenges and conflicts over the last ten years. Davis is working now and I’m proud of the progress he has made in his life."

Jeff’s highlights with Martin

"As you know, I’ve only been mentoring Martin for a few months, but we’ve had some good times in the short time we’ve been getting together. We have had breakfast together before Saturday Open Gym a couple of times now, and we’ve played basketball at Open Gym and had some very competitive games of Around-the-World (a basketball shooting contest). We’ve also enjoyed walking and eating at a street fair by Union Square; we’ve gone to a movie in Times Square; we’ve gone to a Mets game and enjoyed a post-game concert, and we’ve gone to a family get-together in the Bronx. Most of the time, we’ve talked about our common interests and sports.We’re both looking forward to the NFL and NBA seasons, and looking forward to watching our favorite teams together on the big screen."

"Martin is very curious about the world around him and, to his credit, asks a lot of good questions. Like Davis, he has a strong sense of family. I think Martin is mature beyond his fourteen years. He has a very astute sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, and he doesn’t seem to be interested in doing things because all the other kids are doing it. Martin is not a follower; I think he’s going to be a leader. I’m very impressed by his sports knowledge, especially when it comes to the NBA and the NFL. But I’m even more impressed with his diligence in school. Martin made a difficult transition this past year from public school to a private Catholic school. One of the first things he told me when we first met was that he was studying for the Regents biology exam, reviewing his notes and index cards every night, and hoping that he would pass it so he wouldn’t have to go to summer school. I was not surprised when he told me that he passed."

Jeff is a model mentor to these young men and other mentors alike. Davis and Martin play a significant role in this regard and we can confidently say that they are great young men. CBSBB is grateful for having Jeff, Davis, and Martin as part of our family. We wish all the best to all of our CBSBB families and mentors. Cheers!

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