January 26, 2018
ATLANTA – Two lucky Atlantans, who were matched in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program more than 15 years ago, will be traveling to Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII, courtesy of Microsoft Surface and the NFL. Russell Wilson, Quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, chose David Bradburn’s story about volunteering as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA) when he entered the #CreateChangeContest on Facebook.
Fans were asked to get involved in the Create Change movement by sharing their own personal stories about creating a positive impact in local communities, using #CreateChangeContest on social media. Each of the five NFL players involved selected his favorite fan entrant and those five winners will receive a trip for two to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. Naturally, David chose his mentee, Wesley Campbell, to accompany him on this once in a lifetime experience.
In 2002, David Bradburn signed up to be a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA) in the hopes of becoming a friend and confidant to a young boy needing a positive male role model. He was given a relationship that has changed his life in every way.
“One agreement early in our relationship was to greet onlookers’ stares with smiles not frowns,” said David, in his contest entry. “It was the misgivings of both sides of the color line that felt a white man could not possibly know how to prepare a black boy for the realities of this cruel world. I told Wesley it was our job to not allow their negative energy to impose its will on us. He liked my idea that we were leaders on a path to enlighten those who shared our space. This just happened naturally as we enjoyed our outings together.”
The pair were together for nine years before officially “aging out” of the BBBSMA program, which occurs when the Little graduates from high school. Despite this formality, David and Wesley have maintained their relationship and are closer than ever, claiming one another as family.
“Having David as my Big has impacted my life in the most positive ways possible. In fact, our relationship has grown beyond Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said Wesley, who is now 25 years old. “He has been the greatest father figure, support system, and best friend. He has been there for every milestone that has occurred in my life. Joining BBBS and being paired with David has been the greatest life-changing decision of my life. I joined BBBS 15 years ago, but the bond we've created will last us a lifetime.”
David and Wesley are excited to receive this fun-filled trip to participate in all of the Super Bowl weekend events. “We want to promote all Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations around the country and our own Metro Atlanta BBBS,” David explained. Becoming a Big Brother to Wesley has allowed me to expand my family and assist him as he developed into a great young man.”
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
For 58 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta (BBBSMA) has transformed the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in our community through a proven youth development strategy: one-to-one mentoring. The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. The agency serves approximately 1,750 children from 12 metro Atlanta counties on an annual basis.