Big Brothers Big Sisters: From Rough Boston Neighborhood to Pre-Med Scholar
From a tough Dorchester, Mass. public school to the pre-medical buildings on the Syracuse University campus, 18-year old Jostel has travelled a long, and at times difficult, path. Helping guide him on that path for the past 6 ½ years is Mark, Jostel’s Big Brother.
When Jostel was 11 ½ years old he was relatively new to the U.S., his mother only spoke Spanish and worked multiple jobs to support their family, and he was struggling with both his academics and his confidence in a new environment. But then things changed. With the help of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, Jostel was matched with Mark, a caring, adult mentor who was a friend for Jostel when he needed friends the most. Through their match, Mark helped Jostel excel in school, develop a true sense of confidence and self- worth, and overcame some of life’s most difficult challenges.
For 6 ½ years Mark and Jostel’s friendship grew, just as Jostel grew from a timid boy to a young man heading off to college. Mark witnessed Jostel’s triumphs in school, grow more assertive and happy, and this past May he watched Jostel graduate from high school and head off to Syracuse University to study pre-med. For Jostel, Mark was a positive influence, a knowledgeable resource and a good friend who was always up for hanging out. For Mark, the friendship with Jostel was “the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
As the school year begins, many boys throughout the Boston area will be faced with academic challenges, family issues and will longingly seek a mentor. If you'd like to learn more about Mark and Jostel's story, and how having a Big Brother can help shape the life of young person, please contact the office of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusett's Bay at 617-542-9090, or visit the website at http://www.bbbsmb.org/.