When Craig retired from his career as a lawyer, and with his kids all grown up, he wanted to give back. He’d been a Big while in college in the 70’s and remembered it being a positive experience. So he reached out to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area. That’s how he met his Little Brother Malik, who was in need of encouragement, self-esteem building, and positive activities.
Malik’s father passed away when he was 2 months old, and he never had a positive male role model. Craig became just that – a strong, consistent advocate. He’s supported Malik with his academics, and helped him to experience so many new things, including trips to Tahoe, bike rides, playing basketball and ping pong, attending Cal Day at UC Berkeley, going out to eat, and volunteering together.
It’s been wonderful to not only see Malik pass Craig in height, but to also hear from Craig when Malik started to compete with (then beat) him in one-on-one basketball. In all fairness, Malik does play basketball for his high school team. At times when Malik was struggling in school, Craig offered a lot of support. It’s been amazing to see the changes in Malik over the past 9 years, and inspiring to see that he is on track to graduate this year.
Craig and Malik continue to meet almost weekly, which is remarkable for a match of their length. We are so grateful for Craig’s generous and willing spirit, and so proud of the potential that their relationship ignited in Malik’s life!