Giving Tuesday 2022 – Jose’s Story



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Jose’s Story

You may not realize the effect your support has had on my life. And I want you to know that 12 years ago my life was vastly different. A chance conversation about mentoring ignited my future potential. I am profoundly grateful.

When I was ten, my mother and I boarded a plane, leaving the only home I had ever known on Ecuador’s coast. I had no idea what Canada would be like yet I was excited. I imagined that we were going on a journey to a theme park, and the vacation would never end.

Did you ever make up stories as a child so that you did not have to face difficult or unpleasant moments?

I did not settle into my new life very well. I struggled and lacked confidence. My mother worried about me all the time. As a single parent, she was struggling, too.

A few years after we moved, my mother had a conversation with her boss, and she asked for advice. Mom wanted to find a positive male role model for me. She was trying her best, but she needed help too. My mom’s boss told her about Big Brothers Big Sisters. He explained that they had mentoring programs for kids like me.

As a caring and compassionate person, you helped to make sure that a child like me does not have to feel lost and alone. Big Brothers Big Sisters relies on generous community members like you to help them train adult volunteers to be mentors and change lives.

My mom loves me so much. She tried her best but there were things I was really lacking: self confidence; someone to talk with about guy things; learning how to build stuff. Her intention was to connect me with a positive male role model. Someone who would help me to grow my confidence and learn about life.

I did NOT want to go. I struggled with the idea of trusting someone else in my life. But I did not want to disappoint my mother. So, one Saturday afternoon, I agreed to meet this new person in a gymnasium. We talked and hung out. I remembered that I felt very open and safe because they were willing to do what I liked and was interested in. I did not like sports, and in Ecuador, it would have been soccer-and I hated soccer!

I do not want to think about what my life would be like if not for all the little moments of goodness since I met my Big Brother, Maz Riverin.

My life as a Little Brother is much more than I thought possible. I was matched with another Big Brother after Maz went on to get his doctorate. He didn’t want me to miss quality time.

I know you are caring and kind. And I do not think you want other kids like me to have to struggle and worry about being a child. You don’t want them to be afraid of what the future might be like. You want all children to thrive, I’m sure of it.

Will you send a gift today so that another young person like me can have access to a positive role model and mentor?

My Big Brothers lit a spark in me, each in different ways. I have graduate from university, and I have started my career in digital innovation for governments, all thanks to amazing people like you who made my life better.

Warm regards,
Jose Jimenez
Little Brother
Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area