Match Graduation For Adelino & Damien!




Damien and Adelino recently celebrated their match graduation. They were matched in the Big Brother Program for 9 years. Damien and Adelino had a lot of similar interests and enjoyed hanging out and playing video games, spending time outdoors and going for dinner. They had many traditions such as beach days in the summer, tubing in the winter, and going to annual agency events. This year they attended their final Knights game as a match and were grateful they had the opportunity to do so. Adelino and Damien laughed when sharing one of their favourite memories of being at a park and joining a tai chi class from a distance. They are two positive people who are often laughing and joking but can also turn to each other for support and meaningful conversation. As Damien got older, they focused more on skill building and discussing the future. Adelino has helped Damien with resume writing and job searching. They have also discussed investing.

As part of their graduation from the program, they meet with their caseworker to discuss their experiences with BBBSOC and their mentor/mentee. At the request of Adelino, Damien and his family, both our Executive Director Kristen Ralph and Service Delivery Manager Miriah Gibson attended the match graduation. When Adelino and Damien were matched 9 years ago, Kristen was their caseworker – Miriah eventually took over the match when Kristen moved into the role of ED.  A special moment for all invovled!

Adelino (Mentor) – “It was a great experience and Damien and I both ended up gaining a new friend that will be in each other’s lives for a long time. We have a great connection and are like actual brothers.” Adelino has noticed positive change and growth in Damien. “He is much more social than he used to be. He has come a long way and really come out of his shell.” Adelino admired that Damien was open and willing to learn and try new things. He is proud of Damien for graduating high school this year.

Damien (Mentee) – Favourite thing about his match with Adelino was their “overall connection. He is like an actual brother who has been there for me and will always be there for me.” Adelino is “supportive and always by my side.” Adelino made a difference in his life by encouraging him to try new things. “I’ve changed a lot as a person. Adelino showed me a lot in life and helped me come out of my shell. He showed me the ropes on things I didn’t know how to do, like cover letters and resumes. He took the time to show me how and to give me tips.” Damien appreciated that Adelino “took the time and explained things to me. He has experienced things in life that he can share with me like different workplaces. He breaks it down and explains it to me and it makes me feel less stressed about those things.” He described Adelino as “a positive person. He always has a good attitude and is easy to talk to. I can go to him with anything.” Damien shared that one of his favourite memories was when his mom gave Damien and Adelino tickets to WWE for Damien’s birthday when he was younger. “I was very into wrestling at the time and watched it every week. it was so cool to do that with Adelino and to be so close to the ring.”

Jennifer (Damien’s Mom) – Shared that Damien’s match had exceeded her expectations. “It was above and beyond anything that I could have asked for.” Jennifer shared that she had initially enrolled Damien in the program “because he needed a male figure in his life. I was a single parent and his older brother moved to Halifax. I wanted Damien to have someone trustworthy to help him grow and teach him about life with that male perspective. Adelino was that person for him.” Adelino encouraged Damien to try new things and “talked to him about things and encouraged different perspectives. He set a good example and role modelled those morals.” Damien is more outgoing since being matched with Adelino. Jennifer shared that she couldn’t have asked for a better organization to be involved with and that she is appreciative of all of the opportunities and experiences that Damien had over the years.

Thank you Adelino and Damien for sharing your story with us, the adventures and fun times you shared, the memories you have created and the friendship we know will last a lifetime.


“Mentoring is a two-way street. You get what you put in!” ~ Steve Washington