Thirty years ago Willy Gomez decided to become a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He was soon matched with Little Brother Aldo, and a lifelong friendship was born.
Willy was in his 20's and suddenly became a very important part of 13-year-old Aldo's life. Aldo's mother saw the value of having a positive male role model in his life and enrolled him in Big Brothers Big Sisters. He was a little reserved at first, he and Willy became fast friends through different activities.
"Imagine I was in my late twenties and I got to hang out with a 13-year-old. I got to play as if I was his age. How much fun is that," says Willy.
From movies to laser tag to just spending time together and talking, their friendship grew along with Aldo, who became a military veteran, started his own family, and has a flourishing career.
Over 30 years later the two still have a good relationship and keep in touch. Both men consider each other family, but neither thought the mentoring relationship would last a lifetime.
"Did we change each other’s lives? I think we did and continue to do so today," says Willy.
Willy is now a part of the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County. He encourages others to support the organization’s mission of igniting the power and promise of youth through the creation of long-term, one-to-one mentoring relationships that change lives for the better, forever.