Meet Ben – March Mentor of the Month

Being a Firefighter and spending time with his new puppy, Yogi are not the only things Ben does to fill his time! Ben has also been an amazing Mentor in our Big Brother program for the last 2 years! Thank you, Ben!

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region is happy to announce that Ben is our March Mentor of the Month and we couldn’t be more excited to share the story about his journey as a Volunteer in our organization.

Ben’s journey with Big Brothers Big Sisters did not start as a Mentor, it was actually as a Camp Leader. Back in high school, Ben worked as a, “Focus on Youth Summer Camp Leader with BBBS.” He mentioned that he knew about the programs we offered and wanted to help, “give back once I was able to!”

Ben describes himself as being someone, “who loves being active and spending time outdoors”. This has been a perfect fit for his matched Mentee because in the summer months, they love spending time at the beach and playing baseball! Their most favourite memories are hiking a waterfall in St. Catherines and Go Karting – sounds like a blast!

Ben is a Firefighter by day, and a Dad to his new puppy, Yogi by night. Ben currently resides in Hamilton, but that doesn’t stop him from continuing his relationship with his Mentee. In the past, Ben has been a volunteer at the Sunrise Equestrian Foundation. His role was to help with the Therapeutic Riding Classes – what a great volunteer position!

When asked about why Ben wanted to become a volunteer, he responded saying, “I felt like I had experience to offer, and would be able to make a positive difference in someone’s life.” He continued by saying, “Mentoring means prioritizing and setting aside time for someone who could use a little bit of your light and energy!” That is exactly what Mentoring means to us and we are so thankful that Ben is able to recognize how his presence can make such an impact on his Mentee’s life.

Community seems to be very important for Ben, he mentions that, “We have to take care of those around us, because we are all only some bad luck away from needing help ourselves.” What an interesting way to define Community. He is right, we need to continue to be there for each other! We are thankful that Ben can be there for his Mentee and support him when he needs it the most! Ben says that part of Volunteering he cherishes the most is, “Just being able to watch my little grow up in the confident and strong young man he’s going to be!”

Throughout his time as a Mentor, Ben has learned a few things about himself and he mentions that he is thankful for this opportunity. The most notable of skills he has learned is, “time management and event planning for sure!” Ben also mentioned that he wasn’t quite sure what to expect as Volunteer in the Big Brother Program, but he says that it has been an amazing experience, “… with so much more to offer than you even realize before you begin.” He sums up his entire experience with 2 simple phrases, “Just be there for them, and enjoy the time!” – great words to live by!

Ben and his Mentee are very active and they loving taking part in what our Region has to offer. In the past, they have been to local Museums, watched movies, went to the arcade, and played laser tag! With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, they are looking forward to rock climbing and indoor baseball!

Thank you, Ben for supporting your Mentee and providing an opportunity to have a Mentor in his life. As you put it, thank you for “just being there” and we hope you both continue to “enjoy the time!”