Big Brother, Joe Reilly, is from Point Lookout, New York, born and raised. He is a senior at the College of the Holy Cross, plays for the varsity lacrosse team, and was the John’s Brothers Rodman Ride Team Captain this past year. Joseph always had a soft spot for mentoring. Growing up, Joseph’s mother was a Confraternity of the Christian Doctrine (CCD) teacher for 10 years. Through her experience teaching others, he found himself inspired to do the same. Joseph taught the 6th grade CCD class for three years. “If you’re lucky enough to be able to give back, then you need to,” said Joseph.
For the past three years, Joseph volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest through the College of the Holy Cross’ John’s Brothers mentoring group. “It’s a great feeling being able to mentor alongside my teammates,” said Joseph. Growing up, Joseph always did well in school even when his parents divorced. “The divorce was hard because most of my siblings were in or off to college,” said Joseph, “so I really didn’t have anyone around to help me cope with the situation.”
Fast forward to Joseph’s relationship with his Little Brother, Justin — he found his Little Brother’s parents also went through divorce. “This was something we bonded over,” Joseph said. “I think it helped Justin know people are able to get through hardship.” With Joseph’s help, Justin has gained a sense of security and developed self-confidence to be better prepared to handle challenges and opportunities.
Joseph mentioned he’s supported his Little Brother in learning and reinforcing appropriate coping skills to manage his behavior. “Before I could have supported Justin, I knew we had to be comfortable talking with each other first,” Joseph said. And the two did just that–Joseph knew building a trusting bond was part of a quality relationship. Joseph used this idea and has been with his Little Brother, Justin, for over three years.
“Being a role model is a blessing and an honor.” Joseph said. “We have the opportunity to be leaders for these kids. When I graduate from the College of the Holy Cross, I hope Justin will want to continue his mentorship with me now, and for a long time moving forward.”
For more information on how to become a volunteer mentor with BBBS CM/MW, check out: http://bbbscm.org/faqs