Congratulations to Ridge Bradford, a Jensen Beach High School student, for winning the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Palm Beach, and Martin Counties Big Teen of the Year!
For two years, Teen Big, Ridge Bradford has been a School-Based mentor for two Little Brothers, Michael and Leo. Thanks to their mutual love of sports and passion for baseball, Ridge was specifically chosen to be matched with the brothers, who play baseball in local leagues and share a dream of becoming Major League Baseball players when they grow up. As it turns out, Ridge grew up playing baseball in the same local leagues as Michael and Leo. Today, Ridge plays baseball for the Jensen Beach Falcons. As a result, the boys have a lot in common and easily bonded over baseball, school and life. When asked what he enjoys most about spending time with Ridge, Leo says, “Ridge once showed me a picture of himself batting of a tee. This is something all baseball players must do to get better. We have fun playing hangman and Tic Tac Toe on zoom (during the pandemic) with me.”
Ridge has been able to help boost Leo and Michael's reading and writing skills through a Virtual Mentoring Program called Cricket Together. The program has been fantastic for Big Brother Ridge, who is busy with baseball and conditioning, since it allows him to log in when most convenient for his life. Michael says, “We talk about the stories we read, and he writes me letters each month in the pen pal program.” Michael and Leo miss seeing their Big Brother and talking in person, but the mentoring has still been impactful digitally.
Big Brother Ridge also gives his time volunteering at BBBS events. He recently volunteered at the BBBS Holiday curbside event, where he could see his Little Brothers. They were excited to see one another and connect in person. Ridge helped Littles from the agency select holiday toys for themselves and others.
Leaders, peers and Littles say that overall, Ridge is a great volunteer and motivated student athlete. He offers excellent advice to his Little Brothers. They say his positive attitude and “can do” mentality keep his Little Brothers set on the right track. Ridge sees the opportunity that playing sports and excelling in school offer toward his future, and he encourages Michael and Leo to follow in his footsteps.