FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s soccer team partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters this fall, laying the foundation for a relationship that will benefit the Southwest Florida youth, as well as the FGCU student-athletes, for many years to come.
Each FGCU player was matched with a student at either Rayma C. Page Elementary or Bonita Springs Elementary as part of a program called Bigs in Schools. Every other week, the student-athletes met with their “Littles,” helping with class and homework assignments, playing educational games and talking about important values like teamwork, dedication and honesty.
“When we started the Big Brothers program, I thought it would be a nice thing to do for the community,” says FGCU freshman goalkeeper Derek Miller. “By the second week, we were having as much fun as our Little Brothers.”
On Monday, December 3, each school held its annual Bigs in Schools Christmas Party where the entire group enjoyed sing-alongs, snacks and games. The silly dancing and goofing off was a great way for the Big and Little Brothers to celebrate a terrific few months.
“All of our guys had a great time working with their ‘Littles’ this fall because it gave them a chance to really see how influential they can be in someone’s life,” says FGCU assistant coach Alex Aldaz. “The ‘Littles’ were disappointed at the end of the party when they found out they won’t see their Big Brothers until January, but I think it was a sign of how well our student-athletes handled the program. Everyone will be excited to come back in January.”
The fall semester has ended for FGCU students, but the men’s soccer team will return to the Bigs in Schools program after the winter break.
Adam Glick and his "Little Bro"