In 1995, Matt Frangiosa was a recent college graduate eager to get involved in the community. In August of that year, he was matched with his Little Brother, Ryan, a 10-year-old from Conshohocken. Ryan lived with his single mom and two older sisters who were high school drop-outs. Matt described his Little as “a good kid who needed a positive influence.”
After they were matched, Matt and Ryan did a lot together, like going to the arcade and Big Brothers Big Sisters’ events in the community. Wherever they were, Big Brother Matt always encouraged Ryan to stay in school and make good choices. “There was a lot of peer pressure in his high school, and talking about it really bonded us,” Matt said. “Being exposed to risky behaviors and seeing the path his sisters took could have made it easier for him to give in to temptation, but he always came to me to talk things through.”
Little Brother Ryan went on to graduate high school and went right into the working world. He is now in his twenties, continues to work in the area and is taking classes at a local college. Matt and Ryan continue to keep in touch and talk on a weekly basis.
Matt says his experience as a Big Brother drastically impacted his life. For a number of years, he served on the Events Committee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montgomery County; and in 2008, Matt founded his own non-profit, Feel the Warmth, which provides winter coats, school supplies and toys to children in need.
Photos: Matt and Ryan in 1995; Matt and Ryan with Matt’s nieces and nephew.