For almost 20 years, Friends of the Children-Boston has been a leader in providing paid, professional mentoring to youth in Boston. Each youth we've had the opportunity to work with over the years has a story to tell.
We're launching a new monthly feature - Achiever Spotlight - to highlight current and alum achievers. For current Achievers, we'll talk about how the Friends-Boston program is impacting them today. For alums, we'll look at how the program played a role in helping them to find success after they graduated. Their stories are part of our story, and we're excited to share them.
The first highlight, in honor of March Madness, is an alum who's found success playing college basketball: Rivaldo Soares.
Rivaldo is a Dorchester native whose love of basketball has taken him all the way to the University of Oregon - a Division 1 NCAA school - where he's currently in his senior year.
Before all of his college basketball success and a move to the other side of the country, he was a Friends-Boston Achiever. A first-generation American of Cape Verdean descent, Rivaldo entered our program and thrived with the support and encouragement that he received from his Friend - Frank Coleman. Frank had this to say about Rivaldo:
"I first had the pleasure of meeting Rivaldo, better known to his friends as Waldo, as his mentor when he was in the seventh grade at O’Brien Middle School. We would talk a lot about what he wanted out of life, and his conversation would always lead back to making a better life for his family. I coached Waldo on my 13-and-under basketball team, and Waldo lead the team in scoring and rebounding. I also had the pleasure to coach Waldo in Pop Warner football when we won the Massachusetts state championship, which gave an opportunity to compete in Florida. I just want to say that I’m proud of him for fulfilling his dreams of creating generational change."