Matthew Swanson


“Growing up, my mom and I moved constantly, and we were homeless for a brief period of time. I was always switching schools, which made it hard to keep any steady friends. I was bullied and beat up by the other kids. The one consistent thing through all of this was my Big Couple, Brandi and Troy. These two taught me genuine commitment and, today, I can say that I have some of the closest and best friends that anyone could ever ask for.

“One of the responsibilities of a Big Brother and Big Sister is to guide their Little toward the best future possible which, of course, means encouraging them to get good grades and go to a nice college. Well, as much as Brandi and Troy tried, I was never going to be a star student. Fortunately, in ninth grade, I found one thing that kept me determined to keep my grades up and graduate high school: theater. Troy and Brandi supported my theatrical endeavors all the way.

“As high school wound down, Troy, Brandi, and I started to look into colleges, which freaked me out! Eventually, I had to admit that a traditional four-year college wasn’t for me. So, I began searching for a different kind of education, at a school completely unlike any other: The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Since being accepted, everything is lining up for me. Now I just need to work for it.

“Tonight, I want to say thank you. Thank you to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Thank you to Troy and Brandi. Finally, thank you to everyone who is here tonight. Thank you for your generous hearts and for giving me, and kids like me, a chance to dream.”

Published Date:February 15, 2019

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