When Michael signed up to be a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, he didn’t put too much thought about the extent of what was about to unfold. To Michael, it was a simple way to volunteer that would make a big impact: He’d hang with his little twice a month, establishing a one-on-one mentoring relationship to help his Little develop confidence, learn and grow. What Michael didn’t know was that his Little Anthony would become one of the most important people in his life — creating an unbreakable lifelong bond.
Over the past six years, Anthony has grown from a quiet, shy boy who didn’t think he could achieve his dreams to a confident young man who has already made many of his dreams come true, thanks to help and encouragement from Michael. “I try to look at it as a dream manager. I try to enable the things that he thinks are important and try to remove barriers,” says Michael. So far, Anthony has achieved his dreams of getting into his high school of choice, joining the school soccer team and applying for college. He’s done all of this with Big Michael right there beside him. “I hope he knows that he can achieve anything — there is nothing that is off limits in his life. It’s my job to show him and open the doors,” Michael says.
Although their match will come to an end when Anthony turns 18 and graduates high school, they both agree that their relationship won’t end when their match does. “When we finish this program I don’t envision our relationship stopping, it will probably grow even more,” says Michael. He looks forward to seeing Anthony graduate college and get married, but his biggest hope for the future is to start a chain reaction. “I’d love if, in 15 or 20 years, he was a Big and he had a Little, if there was a time for the three of us to hang out and still be in each others’ lives,” Michael shares. Anthony might be able to make this dream come true for Michael. “I can see myself being a Big,” he states. “Hopefully I will be as great of a Big as Michael is to me.”
United Way of Central Indiana is proud to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana to provide youth in our community with adult mentors who will change their lives for the better, forever.