January 2022 TeamMates of the Month: Music and Marvel
Bradly was looking to become more involved in the community when he learned about TeamMates Mentoring through his then-employer, Nelnet. “What better way than to be someone who I wish I had for myself when I was growing up?”
He hadn’t worked with youth before, and as many new volunteers recall, he felt a little nervous before meeting his mentee. Ty, now an eighth-grader at Park, also remembers the exciting uncertainty of being matched back in fifth grade at Saratoga. “It was a little nerve-wracking cause it’s like, ‘Who am I going to get? Is he going to understand what I like?’”
After breaking the ice through building a Lego set and asking some get-to-know-you questions, Ty was eager to talk about his favorite topic, Marvel Comics.
“I’ve been into Marvel since I was little,” said Ty. He enjoys the characters and their stories, and finds he can relate to some, “Especially Spiderman, cause he’s a kid with superpowers, and he’s different from everybody.”
Bradly has enjoyed Ty teaching him “practically everything” about Marvel. “I have learned about so many different characters, story lines, and their backstories,” said Bradly. He has even started following Marvel films and series per Ty’s recommendations. “I started watching the movies, and I was like, ‘I don’t know why I haven’t watched these before, it’s great.’”
The pair also bond over their shared love of music, singing, and video games. “We’re pretty much the same people except he’s taller,” joked Ty.
“I wanted a TeamMate so I could have someone I can talk to and someone who understands me a little better,” said Ty. He feels he has found that support, “Bradly is more understanding, I get along with him a little better than I do with others. I have known him for so long, I know I can trust him because of how kind he is. I’ve learned from Bradly that even though you’re having a bad day, you can still be kind.”
“Every single time after we get done meeting I’m so filled with happiness because meeting with Ty is the best,” said Bradly. “I never thought I could care for someone so much that I see an hour a week.”
“It’s an hour? It feels like a minute,” said Ty.
Although the time flies, the pair both treasure their meetings and feel appreciative to have seen each other. “I always look forward to Thursdays,” said Ty. The best part is “everything!” he says. “Except the part where we’re leaving.”