Dick Patterson became Aaron’s Big Brother when Aaron was just nine years old. Over the years, they have formed a bond that will never be broken. Dick is the true definition of what a Big Brother is. “We ask our volunteers to be friends to youth who need a friend to help with their development. We also ask our volunteers to be consistent with their Littles, even as challenges arise. Dick kept his commitment as a Big in the face of extreme challenges. Because of this, Aaron will have the opportunity to start a responsible and productive life as an adult. But most importantly, and because of Big Brothers Big Sisters, he has a lifelong friend that will be there for him as he confronts future challenges. “ Charlie Paige, BBBST Program Director.
Like many children in Tucson, Aaron’s father has been absent for most of his life and being raised by a single mother had challenges. Dick discovered that not all was perfect at home and that Aaron was not attending school on any kind of a regular basis. Aaron would head to school on his bike but wind up roaming the streets with his like-minded friends and as a result skipping most of his eighth grade year of school. Dick decided to change this pattern of behavior and find Aaron a safe place to live.
Through several years of dramatic events and stressful situations, Dick and Aaron persevered together. Aaron is now in a safe, supportive environment, and is doing well in his second year in high school, passing all his classes, and actually enjoying the learning process. He has just been given a leadership role in this Junior ROTC program and he couldn’t be happier or prouder of this. He has solid goals and expectations and we are all confident he will succeed.
Aaron’s words: Dick Patterson, he is more than just a mentor to me. He is my superhero, he has always been right beside me for as long as we have known each other. He is the dad I never had, he taught me things I would have never learned alone. He taught me how to be a leader in a follower situation. He taught me how to stand up for myself not by using violence, but by using my words and valid reasoning on why I believe what I believe. He has been my best friend for as long as we’ve been together. In doing so, he always is someone I can talk to when I need to get something off my chest. He turns the worst scenario into the best outcome. I have never had such a better friend. Dick inspires me to be the best I possibly can be. There was a time when I was going through some problems at home and he offered his support to me with open arms. Dick has been a big influence on my education. When I have bad grades he tells me to correct them and motivates me to do so.
“Friends come and go, but brothers are forever and the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program was able to prove so.” Aaron, Little Brother