Jonathan & Keith
We’ve made many matches this year, but one match stood above the rest. Both gentlemen are awesome to see, have gone through so much, and TRUE-ly show what the mentor-mentee relationship is about! We are proud to announce Jonathan and Keith as our Match of the Year for 2019!
We’ve featured Jonathan and Keith as our Match of the Month back in June, and we’re glad to see their relationship is as strong as ever. Since June they have gone on a train, learned about weightlifting, and played plenty of basketball. Jonathan has seen Keith mature! “He is more eager about trying new things although at times may scare him.” Jonathan has also changed with this relationship. “His hunger for knowledge is amazing and his appreciation for the details in life are contagious.”
Keith and Jonathan continue their friendship in remarkably small ways. “We play basketball, go bowling, visit and learn about trains. If weather allows, we go to the park and often race (Keith usually wins).” These small things have added up, making Jonathan one of Keith’s best friends. They may have big memories like riding a train for the first time and going to a 76ers game, but to Keith, everything is wonderful. “We can grab a small a snack or I can surprise him with a small gift and it seems to make his day.”
However, there is more to this friendship than fun and games. Keith has autism, and this affects his ability to make friends and concentrate. “Keith works so hard on a day-to-day basis, yet he approaches every day with a smile. He knows the hills he needs to climb yet it doesn’t faze him.” Jonathan can’t help but be inspired by him, but it’s not only how Keith handles his differences. “ He has such a big heart. He always means well and is always concerned for other people’s feelings. His excitement and happiness when sharing an experience is like none-other.”
But what Kevin and Jonathan truly bond over is Basketball. Actually, it was basketball that brought them together! Jonathan was looking for a volunteer opportunity in Hoboken when he met Katie. “When Katie told me about Keith, his love for basketball and his story, I immediately knew I wanted to pursue being his mentor.” The two love to play at the park, and Jonathan is proud to say that Keith can now beat him at HORSE and make the perfect jump shot! Congratulations, Jonathan and Keith!