Volunteer Spotlight: Bobby and Leon, Brothers for Life

Leon (right) and his big brother, Bobby (left)

When we first matched Leon (above, right) with his Big Brother Bobby (above, left) six years ago, Leon was having difficulty adjusting to a new life in New York after moving away from all of his friends in Scotland. Now he is 19 and going to college in the fall, but they plan to remain friends for a very long time.

It has been a success beyond all my expectations… Bobby became part of our family, and our lives.

Raya, Leon’s mother

Leon described the time he spent with Bobby as nothing less than amazing, and credits him with his love of the New York City Football Club (NYCFC). Bobby brought Leon to his first NYCFC game last year and now Leon is a season pass holder. He rarely misses a home or away game. In his words, “Being a supporter has changed my life for the better. The energy and singing in the section is like no other.” Over the years their biweekly hangouts created many memorable moments, from just grabbing pizza to going to Shabbats and High Holidays together. However, Leon’s first NYCFC game will always be an extra special memory of his time with Bobby in the Big Brother Big Sister Program.

The Big Brother Big Sister Program is our longest-running volunteer program. Volunteers interested in becoming Bigs are matched with Littles who can benefit from having a non-family adult role model. Leon’s advice for new Littles? “At the beginning, it’s weird and awkward to hang out with an adult. But after a while, you realize the person has a lot to give and they were in your shoes at one point. Have fun!”