From the time they were matched in March 2014, Matthew and Victor’s relationship has been an adventure. Matthew (now an 8th grader) and Victor (a filmmaker) show no signs of slowing down. The pillars of the match’s strong foundation are curiosity, respect, and fun. Below are some highlights about the match proudly shared by Victor:
What do you do for a living?
I'm a film maker, mostly commercial. I generally use comedy, handmade things and special effects.
What does your Little want to be in the future?
He's been through different ideas, every time being pretty definite about them: a plane pilot, a marine and lately (and most long-lastingly, I just checked) a cop.
How does your match keep in touch?
Matthew and I try to keep in touch over the phone once a week. It's actually the biggest challenge for me. I have a hard time not coming up with the same old "how was school"... I guess what’s most important about this aspect of our match is that Matthew knows I'm around, checking up on him.
What does your Little like to do for fun?
I thought Matthew was all about basketball & video games. This is how he once told me he proceeds as far as choosing what he should do of his spare time is concerned:
1. If it's nice outside he likes to play basketball in the park or in his backyard.
2. If not, he likes to play video-games.
3. If for some reason he can't play video games, he enjoys drawing.
I got the basketball part right but I came to figure out that behind video games lies another activity he is in fact much more into: creating. The game he plays is called Minecraft and it consists in building stuff, little cubes by little cubes. Matthew built so many things in his own little world in the game: airports, planes, stadiums, you name it. He just finished up a very convincing Freedom Tower and proudly showed it to me last time we got together.
What has been your favorite part about being matched with Matthew?
I guess now is my favorite part. The bonding did take quite a while. We always got along, but recently something has changed. I can feel we really are friends now. During one of our first outings, 6 months ago, we bumped into one of his young neighbors who gave Mat a look that seemed to mean "who's this guy?" I remember Matthew hesitated and replied "a friend." Two days ago though, we run into a bunch of his friends again, in the Bronx, but this time Matthew proudly said to them "This is Victor, my mentor" (it rhymes!) To me that means our relationship is now strong and true to itself.
What has been your favorite outing and why?
Matthew and I just started a big project: we're making an RC controlled plane. It's really exciting and it got Matthew in right away. We worked on the general layout this weekend, and since then he keeps sending me ideas for the design, taking pictures of his drawing with his mom's phone.
Are there any activities you’re looking forward to trying together?
We are really looking forward to flying that plane. The making of it though is probably going to take up the next 3 or 4 times we'll get together. We both are "outdoor guys". We agree every time on what to do as long as it's preferably outside.
What’s something you were surprised by from your match with Matthew?
It's kind of a surprise in the long run, but I think I've never heard Matthew say anything negative or mean. He is purely positive, systematically well-intentioned.
What have you most appreciated about your match with Matthew?
I really enjoy the trust and the friendship Matthew and I developed. I really can tell he is happy to see me, and I feel the exact same way. Marcia, his mom, is very grateful too, which I really appreciate. It does fuel my commitment.
What’s something you learned about yourself from being matched with Matthew?
Mentorship is a two way relationship right?I have always had a hard time getting helped or asking for favors from others. Maybe it's from the way I was raised, I don't know. I've had to force myself to ask Matthew to teach me some basketball techniques. That has had a very good effect on our relationship. It helped Matthew having his own turn at giving and me at receiving. So what I've learned about myself is that I should always try to help people help me.
What has Matthew taught you? What have you taught him?
Matthew taught me a lot about basketball and planes. I want to teach him all the Do-It-Yourself things my father taught me: tinkering, woodworking, fixing a bike, a lamp, a shelf, making an RC plane, and so many other things. I want to help him crafting up his own skills to help him realize he's a creator.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I'm so grateful for being part of the Catholic Big Sisters and Big Brothers, for having been matched with Matthew who's such a great guy, and for Jess' support that has been tremendously helpful and encouraging.