'A bond we'll have forever': Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona seeks male mentors

There's a big need for mentors in Arizona right now as hundreds of kids are waiting to be matched up with a Big Brother or Big Sister.

There are a lot of ways to have fun at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona center, but the first time JC Flores met his Little, he went off-campus.

"Our first outing was at Burger King," Flores said. "We just sat down and ate for like 30 minutes, and that was our first outing."

His Little was just 9 years old then. Now, he's 18, and they've grown close over the years.

"I come from a background where I didn't have a male figure, that's why I really resonated with the program's mission, just being involved in his life because I know the importance of having a male figure," Flores said. "That really motivated me to become involved in his life."

Alura Capello with Big Brothers Big Sisters says there's a major need right now for Big Brothers. The waitlist is nearly 200 kids long, and it can take years for them to find a match.

"We really could use some men to step up and just spend a couple hours a month with a child, just being there to support them," Capello said.

Just a few hours a month could change a life. For JC, as they spent more time together, the bond grew.

JC taught his Little to drive when he turned 16, and this year they were invited to the Super Bowl.

"The first two years is getting to know each other, but at this point he's family," Flores said. "Our families are close. I went to his sister's wedding, he went to my wedding. We're just really close in general, he goes on my family vacations, and he's set me a ticket aside for graduation. 

"It's more than just a program, it's a bond we'll have forever," Flores continued.

Learn more: https://www.bbbsaz.org/