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Vincenza & Sharif

Vincenza & Sharif

Matched 2014
    Philadelphia County, PA

Under the age of ten, young boys looking for a Big have the option of being paired with a female mentor. Some opt to stay with a mentor of the same gender but some do not, happy to be matched with whoever fits them best, whether that is a Big Brother or a Big Sister. An example of a successful male/female match is Big Sister Vincenza and Little Brother Sharif. The two have been matched since the fall of 2014 in a school-based program, meeting each and every week, and it is clear that they couldn’t have been matched more perfectly.

Big Sister Vincenza says the highlight of her week is spending time with her Little Brother. They pick different board games to play, read together and even started making their own storybooks in order to work on speech and writing skills. Sharif’s mother, Latema, says that being matched with a Big Sister has helped her son tremendously and that he’s much more social and willing to engage with others. “He’s talked so much about her that I can’t even remember one specific story,” she says. “He brings her up anytime he can and is more excited to go to school on days when she visits him.”

Vincenza recalls one time when it was nice outside and the pair decided to play soccer. Seeing some of Sharif’s friends, Vincenza asked if he wanted to play with them but he declined and said he’d rather play with his Big Sister. When asked how he felt about being paired with Vincenza, Sharif said he always has a good time and she “should get a really good grade.” Not only do they have fun, but the match also spends time learning together and continues to develop.

Since her son is an only child and would benefit from additional support, Latema had hoped to find someone that could actively mentor and support Sharif. She believes she’s found just that and says “it’s a great match.”