When Kevin heard a commercial that mentioned that there was a massive shortage of male mentors (Big Brothers), his interest was immediately peaked. He called the number from the commercial, went for his interviewed and was matched not too much later.
He was introduced to Jonathan in 2011. Jonathan had just turned 13 and had been waiting for a couple years to be matched. Kevin recalls being quite nervous about what he was getting into, but within a couple of minutes meeting Jonathan, that feeling was washed away. Instead, he felt comfortable, calm and he knew this was going to be a good match.
“When you grow up with no person to teach you how to drill a hole or how to fish – even eating new things, from German food to Mediterranean food,” Jonathan said about what it’s like having a Big Brother.
The two of them quickly realized just exactly how much they have in common. It didn’t matter what they did, they enjoyed their time together. They’ve been kayaking, mountain biking, skateboarding, model airplane flying, real airplane flying, fishing, boating, sailing, boat building, playground building, snorkeling, to the gym, to all sorts of restaurants, grocery shopping, house fixing, movie watching, cooking, car driving, go cart driving… you name it. The list can and will go on.
Kevin understood the power of mentoring, first hand, when he was just a teenager. At 17 years old, he and his best friend often found themselves looking for trouble. His parents were divorced, and living with his brother and his mom, he found himself where a lot of teen boys in his situation do – with too much time.
“My house had become the destination for most of our troubles because my mom was burning the candle on both ends and we had the place to ourselves,” he said.
But it was this exact situation that made him into the man he is today. It was because of those times they got in trouble that steered him in the right direction. His friend’s dad routinely was there to pick up the pieces and get them on track. He started taking Kevin with him when he would volunteer at Habitat for Humanity.
“I learned so much more from those experiences than just building a home or a church. I learned that sometimes kids to be led by example, not just by rules, or what is taught in school,” he said.
So it was a no brainer that one day Kevin would give back that same mentoring power. What was unpredictable, though, was how amazing that connection could actually be.
“Kevin is the most well rounded human that I know and I could pay him back not even with a million dollars because time is priceless,” Jonathan said.
Kevin was nominated for Big Brother of the Year for 2015.