As the youngest of two older brothers, Javier Valdivieso, now 26, a police officer at Babson College Police Department always knew he wanted to become a Big Brother.
“I wanted to wait for the right time so I could commit 100 percent,” said Valdivieso. “It came naturally for me to want to give back to a child who was in need of a mentor.”
After solidifying his position at the Babson College Police Department, Valdivieso contacted Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay and was matched with his Little Brother Job, age 8 from Waltham.
“When I first met Job he was kind of shy, I had to think outside of the box!” said Valdivieso, “He had mentioned he liked fire trucks, so the second time we hung out, I took him to the police and fire departments. He immediately lit up. He had a blast. We went down and gave him a tour where he got to try on the equipment.”
As they spent more time together, their relationship transformed. Now, the two of them are incredibly close and love just hanging out, going to the New England Aquarium, or even helping Santa pick out a new sled for Christmas.
“He is always down to try new things, he’s always ready to go, sometimes I’m the one who’s moving to slow!” said Javier about their time together. “I want him to look back and think I’m successful today in part because of the experiences I had with my Big.”
There is no doubt that when Job reminisces back to his time spent with Javier, he will have many memories to choose from, including memories from this past weekend where Job and his sister Nicola, a Little Sister through The Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston, were presented as honorary Junior Police Officers at the Babson College Police Department. After hearing about Nicola’s interest in the police department Javier, the Babson College Police Department and Sergeant Frederick Winslow decided to give the two of them a special Big Brothers Big Sisters Day, to educate them on the experiences of being a police officer.
“When people ask those who become police officers why they do that they do, the answers is almost always “To help people”, said Sergeant Frederick Winslow of Shrewsbury, “If that is true, what better way to help someone then to educate them at an early age about what we do, who we are and allow us to interact with two young people and help form their impressions of police officers as a people who help rather than being someone to fear.”
After being sworn in, Job and Nicola were given a tour of the ins and outs of the department. Javier, Sergeant Winslow and Officer Kevin Carrigan showed them how to take fingerprints, how to write a parking ticket, and taught them about police officer safety. Dispatcher Meghan Rosenberg showed Job and Nicola how Dispatch worked and gave them walkie-talkies to call in to her. Also with the group was Ify Mora, Nicolas’s Big Sister from the Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston. Ify and Nicola have been matched for almost a year, and they clicked ever since the beginning. Ify came from a large family, so becoming a Big Sister was natural for her.
“I was in a great place in my life where I wanted to connect with someone. I really wanted to give back,” said Ify.
After the tour of the department, Javier and Sergeant Winslow took the group outside to see the police cars. Job and Nicola got a chance to learn more about the cars and go for a ride. They even got a chance to give a parking ticket. They were a huge help in a mock investigation where they found evidence with their flashlights and placed it in evidence bags.
By the end of the day, Job and Nicola both wanted to be police officers. Job said his favorite part of the day was “mostly everything.” Nicola wants to be a police officer because “you can help people and you can save peoples’ lives.”
Although Littles graduate from the Big Brother Program by the age of 18, many stay close to their Bigs afterwards. Javier plans to keep his special relationship with Job.
“My role isn’t to be his parent or his disciplinary; my job is to provide him with guidance. Any help with school, a girlfriend or anything, I want to give him advice as a friend. But eventually, after I’m his mentor I want us both to be equals.”
With over 800 boys on the waiting list, there has never been a better time to become a Big Brother. Volunteer today at bbbsmb.org.
Submitted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.