Mark and Ed

2015 Ed & Mark

Big Brother Ed and "Little Brother Mark" first met 18-years-ago. To date, they remain friends.

June 2015 - A lot has changed since Little Brother Mark and Big Brother Ed first met in 1997. Eighteen years later, Mark says “Big Brothers Big Sisters made a difference in my life.”

Today, Mark has an MBA from McMaster University and Ed is 3 years retired from 41 years in the police force.

In 1997, Mark was a shy 9-year-old boy. He was a dedicated Grade 6 student who was always eager to learn. At home, Mark was surrounded with the positive influence of his mother, Edwina, and his two older sisters. While tremendous support was offered by Mark’s family at home, Edwina enrolled Mark into the Big Brother program to provide him with a male influence. Soon Big Brother Ed and Little Brother Mark were matched.

Their friendship was a natural fit from the beginning. At the time, Ed was 27 years into his career as a Police Officer. His children were all grown up, and Ed decided he wanted to volunteer and make a difference in his local community.

Mark and Ed met once a week and spent a couple of hours together. Like any other 9-year-old boy, Mark says, “I remember being very interested in going out and doing ‘guy stuff.’” Together, the duo would play catch, go to the movies or enjoy a conversation and a meal. Now, 18 years later, Mark reflects on their time together: “I really feel that the value of Big Brothers Big Sisters is the stability of a relationship,” he says.

Mark attended his first CFL game with Ed with tickets that were provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters. He recalls that there was a lot value in trying new things together. After attending a Tiger-Cats game with Ed, Mark’s curiosity of football was sparked. He became interested in a new sport and was inspired to try it out. Mark soon enrolled in flag football at his elementary school.

Ed recalls witnessing Mark grow up and seeing his social skills develop. Because they only saw each other once a week, Ed recognized changes as they happened. Ed says one of his favourite parts of their journey together was “seeing Mark go from a 10-year-old to a teenage boy, and watching him develop.”

“Mark wasn’t a problem kid,” Ed says, “he just needed a little extra support. That is precisely what Ed provided. “He was always encouraged and supported, but didn’t need to be pushed,” Ed explained.

At a young age, Mark knew that he aspired to do big things. “I was never pressured to do my studying. I focused on what I wanted to do and took the path there.” Mark received his first scholarship through Big Brothers Big Sisters when he was in Grade 8. As a Promise Scholarship recipient, Mark received $2,000 to be held in trust until his post-secondary education.

Since then, Mark achieved 3 scholarships in his undergrad, and 6 scholarships in his MBA. Today, Mark is a Category Analyst at the Fortune 500 American manufacturer, Stanley Black & Decker.

In addition to his career, Mark is very civic-minded and involved in his local community. Mark is the Burlington Chair of GenNext of the United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton. The group is made up of young professionals; their goal is to engage the community and make a difference.

Now, a successful and personable yet modest 28-year-old, Mark attributes the role models in his life for where he is today: “The supportive people in my life were there to give me that extra push.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters congratulates Mark on his successes and is pleased to share the story of Mark and Ed as an alumni success story.


We currently are incurring a long waitlist, and are in need of volunteer mentors.

  • Are you 18 years of age or older?
  • Are you interested in positively benefitting the life of a child?
  • Do you have 2-3 hours a week to dedicate to a rewarding friendship?

Click here to apply to be a mentor today!