Real Life Stories

From Gamers to a Winning Team

Joseph, or Jojo to his friends, was acting out at school and getting into trouble. His mother, raising 9-year-old Jojo and his brother on her own, sought out Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area in search of a role model for her son.

As luck would have it, Big Brother Zahir was available. A two-time Big Brother and recent new dad, Zahir also has a similar cultural background to Jojo, a plus for Jojo’s mother. Jojo and Zahir were a perfect match.

They’ve bonded over pick-up basketball and baseball games and trips to the park. Thanks to tickets provided by BBBSBA, Zahir even took Jojo to his very first 49’ers game! Jojo’s mother tells us, “he couldn’t stop telling me how much of an amazing time he had.” Not all match outings are so elaborate; the two also spend time just hanging out reading comic books and playing video games. Zahir is glad his gaming skills exceed Jojo’s. “My ego couldn’t take losing to a ten-year-old,” he jokes.

Gamer victories aside, they both have gained much from this match. Jojo is doing well in school, and his mother tells us his self confidence continues to grow. Zahir has also grown. To anyone thinking of becoming a Big, he says, “all the things that he and I have done together I would have done anyway…and getting free tickets to sporting events is not bad at all.” He reflects on his time with Jojo: “It’s helped me to see how much just a little bit of your time can help someone.”

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