|Russell and Mario|
Russell was 11 when his mom asked him if he wanted to be in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. He describes the impact that his Big Brother, Mario made on his life as monumental. They did so much together, camping, Fiesta activities, and "just hanging out," through which Mario provided Russell with a ‘sense of worth” and helped him “face my anger, sadness, fear, and guilt and replace it with forgiveness and understanding when my own father abandoned us.”
|Russell speaking at a luncheon|
|Mo supporting Brianna in choir|
|Brianna was in ROTC all 4 years of HS|
When she graduated High School Brianna received the Tyree Williams scholarship through the Big Brother Big Sister program and enrolled full time at Alamo Colleges while working part-time at Belk Department Store. Shortly after that Brianna moved on to Schreiner University and was presented with an opportunity to give back to Big Brothers Big Sisters as an employee. Brianna is currently working as a Service Delivery Coordinator through a grant from The Callioux Foundation, paying it forward everyday in honor of her mentor, Big Sister Mo.
Julio's mother enrolled him in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program after they moved away from his father and a troubling home environment. Julio credits his Big Brother, Ross, with shaping who he is today. He describes Ross as a "really nice guy" who gave him an example that was vastly different from previous male role models in his life. Julio tells stories about hanging out with Ross at the ballpark where he learned compassion and rooting for your team even when they are down, and going to an ice cream shop all the time where the same cute girl always seemed to be working (who later became Ross' wife.)
|Julio and fellow board members|
When Julio grew up and became a successful, contributing adult with a job, he began donating to Big Brothers Big Sisters through the United Way over many years in several jobs in different cities. He said that no one ever called and asked why he was donating to the agency until he moved to San Antonio. After sharing his story with Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, the next thing he knew he was on the board, and then chair of the board! He also got his company, Clear Channel Communications, now iHeart Media, to participate in the workplace mentoring program where he and almost 50 of his co-workers became Bigs. Julio has been matched to two Littles, Keith and Daniel, paying it forward in honor of his Big Brother, Ross.
These are the stories that inspire me to continue with this work.