Meet Bobby & Isaiah: Match of the Year Honorees

Each year Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Indiana honors our “Matches of the Year”. We had 10 matches of the year in 2021, and each of these matches was interviewed for a series of short videos. 

We weren’t able to fit everything into the Match of the Year videos, so here’s a deeper look into one of 2021’s strongest matches! 

Big Brother Bobby and Little Brother Isaiah have been matched since July of 2017, and supported all along the way by Isaiah’s mom, Marquita.

Bobby and Isaiah have been matched for four and a half years now, and a lot has changed. Bobby has two young kids and started a business not too long ago, but he and Isaiah still make time for their friendship. Bobby shared that it has been more challenging to keep in touch, especially during a pandemic, but that they “always make it work. Even if it’s just checking in with text messages and seeing how things are going, we make it work.”

Bobby described Isaiah as a “kind, sweet kid with such a positive energy. He’s always smiling. He’s a lot of fun to be around and is easy to hang out with.”

Both Bobby and Isaiah expressed how much they have learned from each other. From Bobby’s side, Isaiah has taught him how to work hard and not give up. He shared that “Isaiah’s grades are phenomenal. I recently started a business and seeing how hard he works, motivates me to work hard. It makes me hope that I’m impacting him in the same way he’s impacting me.”

It’s safe to say that Bobby has impacted Isaiah in a BIG way. Isaiah shared that he “used to avoid things that were hard and try to find ways not to deal with them. But Bobby taught me not to give up.”

The two of them shared that their favorite experience together was getting to go to a Pacer’s game. They went through BBBSCI, and Isaiah got to meet Myles Turner and shoot around on the court.

Isaiah described Bobby as “wise. You can learn a lot from him. He’s good to be around, and if you have a problem he will look out for you and make sure you’re good.” He shared that Bobby “will check on you even if he’s busy. It’s a good friendship.”

The first question we asked Marquita was about how Isaiah has changed. She shared that she has “seen Isaiah go from having low grades to high grades. He’s focused on bettering himself, and he didn’t really care about that before he met Bobby. He didn’t used to care about going to college but getting to know someone who had gone to college really impacted him. It showed him ‘I can do these things too’”

We asked Marquita how she would describe Isaiah and she said, “he’s very caring. He’s a hard worker, so I think I instilled that good thing in him. He’s very friendly and cares about other people.”

There are over 1,000 kids just like Isaiah on our waitlist. They’re waiting for a mentor, for someone to stand in their corner. Learn more about how you could make an impact, like Bobby, as a Big.

Related Stories