Lori and Gabe

BS Lori LB Gabe

Cross-gender match proves to be mutually-beneficial


May 2014 - Big Sister Lori and Little Brother Gabe have been matched for one year. Within this time, Lori has noticed some significant changes in Gabe, such as a boost in his confidence.

“He is much more comfortable meeting new people,” says Lori, explaining that this was not the case when they first met. “When we first met, Gabe was starting at a new school. At the time, he was nervous,” says Lori. Now he has opened himself up to new opportunities. Gabe started playing basketball, joined the school choir and wrestling team and has been maintain-ing good grades.

Lori and Gabe spend 3-5 hours a week together. Some of their favourite activities include playing sports, riding bikes, cooking and hanging out talking.
Lori leads a healthy and active life-style, and as a result, Gabe has taken an interest in these habits. Lori says that Gabe has warmed up to eating healthy foods. She attributes this to some of the meals they have had during their visits. “I am a pretty big advocate for clean eating,” she says. “Last time we were together he even asked if we could make smoothies!” This summer, Lori and Gabe plan to plant a vegetable garden. “Gabe has already told me what veggies he would like to plant,” says Lori.

Aside from healthy eating, Gabe has learned about manners from Lori. “Gabe picked up on the fact that I won't tolerate much as far as not listening and using poor language. He is really quite wonderful when we are together,” says Lori.

“I think mentoring is important for so many reasons,” says Lori, explaining, “it’s really important for kids to have several people influence the people they become.

“I think he is benefiting from our relationship and a female role model. I try to break down some of those gender stereotypes that are often fed to kids, and have taught him that girls can be feminine, athletic, smart and strong,” says Lori.

Lori and Gabe’s friendship has proven to be mutually beneficial: “What I love most about my experience so far is that we are mentoring each other,” says Lori, adding, “When Gabe and I are together we can both just be kids, and that's pretty awesome!"

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