Big Brother Michael and Little Brother Tylik are an alumni match that met through our College Bigs program at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013, the pair was interviewed about their match, and they explained just how much the program meant to them.
At the time, Tylik was a sixth grader at a school in West Philadelphia and, according to his Big, “[had] always been a good kid, trying to make it in an environment that is not always conducive to learning or to progress.” Michael was a Penn senior with a full course load but always was sure to make time for his Little Brother. The pair even stayed close despite a semester spent in different countries. Michael studied abroad for months but still made it a priority to stay in touch during his travels, mailing Tylik postcards regularly. Once Michael returned, the match continued meeting each other at least twice a month. Gabrielle Bailey, their Match Support Specialist, stated, “Michael has been very dedicated to his Little, despite a very busy schedule as a college student, and has helped his Little develop and make good decisions.”
Before Michael and Tylik met, it wasn’t uncommon for Tylik to get into arguments on the playground or with his siblings but now, Tylik walks away from fights and encourages others not to get involved. Tylik says he would be “very lonely if Michael weren’t his Big Brother” and that Michael has helped him with homework and soccer tricks.