Jacob and Jon

August 2020 TeamMates of the Month: No Matter What

Jacob was shocked the first time his TeamMates mentor Jon showed him a magic trick, an activity he had a slight interest in as well. “I was impressed. I didn’t know what to say!” admits Jacob. Jon was equally stunned when Jacob finally beat him in arm wrestling last year, a feat nearly five years in the making. “That was a highlight. I put that on my calendar,” Jon laughs.

Jacob and Jon both deem their meetings the best part of their week. The soft-spoken pair first met in 2015, when Jacob was in fifth grade. Soon he will begin his sophomore year at Lincoln High, where he enjoys English and science classes, competes in track, and plays football. It meant everything when Jon attended a couple of his football games last year, Jacob shares.

Jon recalls also attending Jacob’s middle school clarinet concerts and admires Jacob’s versatility that leads him to participate in different activities. “I just encourage him to keep trying and also to not be afraid to try something new” Jon explains. “You won’t know if you like something unless you try it. It’s good to have a number of experiences to draw on.”

Participating in TeamMates is an experience they both feel lucky to have. “We talk about literally anything and everything that comes to mind,” says Jacob, describing a TeamMates mentor as someone who “you can tell everything to because you can trust them more than anyone else.” 

The match stayed in touch through school closure and over the summer via email and Zooms facilitated by TeamMates staff. They look forward to seeing each other face to face and laughing together again. Jon’s humor is Jacob’s favorite thing about him and vice versa. “Jacob has a real dry sense of humor. He can be really straight-faced, but he’ll say something that really cracks you up,” Jon recalls. “He’s just a nice person to be with. I really enjoy his company.”

“He’s always been really cool,” Jacob says. “I know Jon and I will stay in touch no matter what, even after school.”