The Dream Team
by Jeff Atkinson
I got involved as a Big Brother in November 2020. I was drawn towards being a Big because of past experiences volunteering up and down the east coast from Massachusetts to Florida when I was traveling as a PGA Golf Professional. The feeling of giving back is truly something exceptional, and I needed that back in my life. I decided it was time to get involved again and, after doing some digging, JBBBS’s mission and impact “JBBBS is transforming lives of children, adults with disabilities and their families through the power of one-to-one relationships.” resonated profoundly with me.
Little did I know my 11-year-old brother Jahni and his family could have such an impact on me both personally and professionally. He is the coolest, most athletic, kindest, driven, and polite kid I could have hoped for, and so is his family! We hit it off right from our first zoom (thanks Covid) and have been making memories ever since. Whether we are playing basketball, eating ice cream, going to Sox or C’s games, bowling, reading, playing at Launch (thanks JBBBS!) or making pizza together, we have a bond that is more than just 2x a month comingling.
In April of 2021, to top off the tough times with Covid, I lost my role model and Grandpa Carl due to Alzheimer’s, and that crushed me. I cannot describe the weight that had on me personally, but you know who made things better? Jahni did. Jahni has become family to me, and I couldn’t be more eager to see where the future lies for him.
I cannot speak to the impact that I have had on my Little. But I can say confidently from my volunteer experience that you wouldn’t regret getting involved with this program. Being a part of this young man’s life, giving time to develop our youth and future, understanding that life is meant to be fun and uplifting, and elevating each other are all reasons Jahni will forever be a brother to me! Never stop being coached, my man.
Rest in the sweetest peace Grandpa. Friendships and family are everything.
Jeff Atkinson grew up in northern New Hampshire, and is currently located in Waltham, MA with his fiancé Lauren and 1.5-year-old red lab named Bogey! He currently works in the tech/finance industry. When he is not working, he can be found teaching/playing golf all across New England, traveling as much as he can.