Help Me Support Big Brothers Big Sisters!
Anthony (who also goes by Preston) and I just celebrated our 6 year "Matchiversary" in March. It's crazy to think that when we were matched in 2015, he was 11 years old and I was, as Anthony would put it, an "old guy" at the age of 26. Fast forward to today and this 17-year-old has really started to perfect the art of talking smack and regularly reminds me that I’m REALLY an “old guy” now. In addition to the improvement to his comedy routine, Anthony has also cleaned up in several other areas, starting with one of the most important – Academics. We're both incredibly proud to share that Kristina and I had the pleasure of attending his graduation last week. Not only did Anthony walk across the stage, but, his report card was full of almost all A’s. Even more impressive… If you're doing the math, you'll note that not only is he graduating, but he's graduating a full year early – only 1 of 4 in his graduating class. Kristina and I are so very proud of his accomplishment. After graduation, Anthony is going to intern with a local entrepreneur before deciding on his next steps. College may not be in his future, but I’m certain whatever path he chooses, it will end with success.
Now that you see where our match is today… let’s look to see where it all started 6 years ago. For the first 3 years of our match, Anthony and I spent quite a bit of time together. I would swing by his house and pick him up almost every Monday evening and we'd start another adventure for the next few hours before dropping him back off. Our activities would range from boring to pretty darn cool on the spectrum of match activities. On the days where I hadn’t had a chance to plan anything, we do things like heading to the grocery store, walking the dog, or cleaning the cars. An example of some of our more exciting adventures are go-cart racing, trying new restaurants/foods, and attending car shows.
If you’ve kept up with my yearly updates on our match, with the exception of “the year that didn’t exist (cough, 2020, cough)”, you’ll note that in my last update Anthony had been having some issues at school which resulting in having to leave Lincoln. We really spent a lot of time focusing on his schooling and ensuring he was fully committed to bringing his grades up. Unfortunately, despite our very serious discussions, he continued to struggle – barely getting passing grades. In late 2019, after discussing with Anthony’s Mom, BBBS, and my mentors, I chose to have a very difficult discussion with my Little Brother. If he wasn’t going to commit to his own success, I was going to have to reconsider my commitment to him. He didn’t take this news lightly and was upset with our decision. Our agreement was that until he can prove to me that he is willing to commit to something, work hard at it for an extended amount of time, and come out the other end with a positive result… our match would be put on hold. Ultimately, I wanted him to experience the ups and downs of hard work, dedication, and ultimately… achieving the goal which required those sacrifices. I advised him that it didn’t need to be school – really it could be anything. Just show me that he is willing to work hard and stick with something long enough to see the reward on the other end. Well… I’m happy to report that we’re here. He did just that. He worked hard, he didn’t give up, and he accomplished his goal.
Had you asked me 12 months ago if I though Anthony was going to graduate high school, I would have told you it was unlikely. If you would have asked me if he was going to graduate a year early? No shot. And, I couldn’t be more ecstatic that he proved me wrong. He’s experienced the result of hard work, dedication, and persistence. My advice to him after graduation is to take some time to celebrate his accomplishment. But once he’s done that… set another goal and get to work.
Your support of BBBS is what makes this incredible story possible.
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