On May 23rd, the Mentor Match program was invited to take part in Mentoring Night at Fenway – the Boston Red Sox’s celebration of Massachusetts mentoring programs. Every year since 2005, the Red Sox have partnered with the Mass Mentoring Partnership to hold this “Mentoring Challenge”, in an effort to recruit more mentors to help serve local youth.
It was threatening to rain all night long, but that didn’t stop seven of our matches from attending that night’s Red Sox game. One of our matches — Kevin & Igor — even got to go on the field before the game and shout “Play Ball!” in front of the entire stadium!
Kevin and Igor are one of our longest tenured matches. They were first matched back in late 2009, and ever since, they have been an inseparable team. Igor and his mother recently had some inspiring words to share on their experience with Kevin, which absolutely warmed our hearts.
From Igor’s mother:
Like other young adults, young people with autism need to go out from their families from time to time and Kevin has provided Igor with this opportunity. We have been blessed with having Kevin in our lives. He is another amazing human being! Kevin is always gentle and very respectful of Igor. Kevin genuinely enjoys Igor’s unique sense of humor. Kevin is always accepting, understanding and caring, but let me tell you that we got two incredible people for the price of one, because Kevin’s wife, Melissa, is just as special a human being as Kevin. Every time she can be a part of an interaction with Igor she is ready and enthusiastic to take part in it. Kevin and his wife Melissa are world walkers and many times, no matter in whatever part of the world they are, they do not forget about Igor. They communicate with him from Peru, Colombia and other parts of the world.
Kevin, Melissa, and Igor have entered each others’ hearts and from the part of my son I know he will stay in there for ever, because so far I have not known a more faithful friend.
We, as a family, revolve around Igor. His needs are our needs, his goals are our goals, his sadness is our sadness, his achievements are our achievements, his loneliness is our loneliness, and his happiness is our happiness. Having Kevin in Igor’s life has been wonderful. It seems to me that up in heaven before taking this journey to earth they decided to be friends no matter what.
For my part I just want to say that I have a family that loves me so much, but I still feel pretty lonely. I would love to be able to have friends and hang out with them. I would like to be able to do stuff and go places and collect and share good memories with them. Even though this has not happened for me yet, I still do not lose hope because I appreciate how fortunate I have been in having only two, but two amazing friends in my life and Kevin is one of them. It is great to talk to Kevin on the phone or to go out with him. Everything lights up when we make plans for the weekend.
I would like to encourage all of you to consider all the possibilities that are out there to positively impact someone else’s life. If all of us do just a little thing each day to make another human being feel good, the whole world would change for the better because the feelings of gratitude and love are very contagious and in no time we would be vibrating at a higher frequency. And last I would like to share with you some of my dreams that for people like me are big dreams while for many of you are just granted facts.
I just want to have a pal to hang with, somebody I could talk to and share my interests with, somebody that accepts me just the way I am without judgments. I need the same connections as everybody else to feel that there is a place for me on this earth. I need to have a job, stability, and independence. I want to realize my dreams, have my own home, my own life! I just want the same things as everyone else, to love and be loved, to be respected and accepted, to be productive to society and to give the best of me to others.