As adults, it isn't difficult to see the impact a YouthFriend can have on a child. But to hear students describe the impact their YouthFriends have had on their lives is powerful. Such is the case with one senior in the Blue Valley School District who recently took time to explain how having a YouthFriends Mentor has made a difference in his life and his future.
Matt was in fourth grade when he first met his YouthFriend, Jason Christenson (an employee of Abbott Laboratories). At first it was great to have someone to talk to other than his mother, Matt said. But soon, Jason became a good friend and a male role model--someone Matt looked up to and was inspired by.
"It was nice to have him talk and hang out and be my friend," Matt said. "I used to hate school, but then every Tuesday I got to see Jason and it all became a lot more bearable."
Not long after his visits with Jason began, Matt became more connected to school. They would often talk about school, life, friends and even the Chiefs games. Their weekly visits became something each looked forward to. As Matt approaches graduation, they each know that their friendship will continue and they plan to keep in touch.
"You don't have to change your life to be a part of your YouthFriend's life," Matt said. "That extra boost really helps a lot."
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