Real Life Stories

A Relationship in Development

Ram and Michael started out like any other BBBSBA Big and Little when they were matched just two years ago. The pair loved sports-focused outings like going to Stanford basketball and Oakland A’s games, went hiking frequently, and sometimes just spent the day playing chess. “[Michael] looks forwards to his meetings,” his mother told us, “his face glows when he sees Ram.” The two grew closer, Ram even attending Michael's concerts and birthday parties.

One day, Michael expressed interest in attending a school to learn how to code. Code academies and summer camps were deemed prohibitively expensive, but Big Brother Ram knew just what to do: this summer, he was going to bring his computer to his match outings with Michael to show him how to code. Michael’s mother was thrilled.

“My plan, for now, is to make use of his interest in learning to build a game, and try to bring out his creativity in solving similar problems,” Ram tells us, “to eventually build a full game from scratch with his ideas.”

Michael jumped into the project headfirst, sketching game levels, character designs, and more. Ram, a veteran of the video game industry, was proud. “His artwork is very original and refreshing to see,” Ram said. “I was very impressed by his passion and clarity of thought.”

Using a free development tool created by MIT called Scratch, they started to build the game step-by-step. First working through code exercises, Ram helped Michael develop an understanding of the building blocks needed to make a game. Michael, quickly grasping the concepts, tweaked the code to make a game of his own.

It’s a very simple game," Ram says, “but the rules we made inside the code makes it fun and replayable."

Michael's mom is so happy Ram has helped Michael explore his newfound interest in coding over the summer. “Ram is AMAZING!" she tells us. “Thank you so much for finding us such a great BIG!"

CLICK to play Michael’s game!

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