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Big Spotlight: Travis


Meet Big Brother Travis. Travis has been matched in our Community Based Program in Henderson since September of 2023 with Little Brother Brooklyn. Travis works for the City of Henderson, Kentucky! Travis became part of Big Brothers Big Sisters because he was new to the area and wanted to explore the city while mentoring a youth.


We asked Travis to share his thoughts on becoming a Big in the program and mentors that he's had throughout his life!

 

What inspired you to become a mentor through BBBS?

Throughout my life, I’ve been involved in numerous community organizations. When I moved to Henderson in 2021, I wanted to be involved in this community; however, I struggled to find opportunities. I reflect on my own life, and I'm fortunate to have had numerous male role models. I wanted the opportunity to pass along their impact on me to someone else. BBBS is exactly that —involvement and impact.

 

What were you most nervous about before you met your Little?

I don’t have much experience working with kids, and I worried if I would be able to form a meaningful connection with my Little.

 

What was your first meeting like?

Khrista did an amazing job at guiding the match introduction with “icebreaker” activities. For our first outing; we toured a museum, went on a short hike, and played at a playground. Initially, it was slightly awkward, and I don't think either of us knew what to expect during the outing. Touring the museum gave us plenty of conversation starters and helped us to feel more comfortable. My Little was initially a bit shy; however, that quickly faded.

 

What is your favorite memory that you and your Little have made together?

For his birthday, we went for a hike at Newman Park and had ice cream at Coffee+Cream. We had great conversations, reflecting on the last year of his life and the progress of our match. During those conversations, we discovered several commonalities, and I feel that this was a “turning point” in our match. 

 

Have you seen any changes in your Little since being matched?

I’m the type of person who never meets a stranger. I greet people with a smile and try to spread goodwill. I’ve begun to notice him exhibiting some of the same etiquette, such as holding doors open for others.

 

What is your favorite part of being matched?

My favorite activities involve being outside, and hanging out with my Little gives me the opportunity to go hiking, play on a swing set, and play soccer. Additionally, the laughter and stories we share are always fun!

 

What has been the hardest part of being matched?

I’ve found it hard to engage him about some of his interests. His favorite game is Fortnite, and I really don’t know anything about that. Fortunately, he keeps me very informed about the latest updates and news about it!

 

Do you ever feel discouraged in your match and how do you overcome that? 

I’m a very analytical person, and I find it difficult to quantify the progress of our match. I’m overcoming this challenge by setting goals with him (both for him and for myself). These usually involve something academic or related to match activities. I enjoy watching him accomplish a goal, and I like to encourage him to step out of his comfort zone to do something like climb the rock wall at SkyZone.

 

What has your Little taught you about life?

Shortly before I was matched, I was promoted into my first professional management position. I’m now responsible for leading my team at work. My Little has given me the opportunity to learn how to be a mentor. Fortunately, he’s much more forgiving than my colleagues!

 

Who was your mentor .... How did they impact you?

"Someone who really stood out in my life was my 5th grade engineering teacher. He would give us challenges that initially seemed unachievable. He taught us how to dismantle large problems into manageable tasks. To this day, when I run into a wall, I reflect on his lessons and apply the logic he taught me. Throughout the years, he has remained an encouraging resource that I’ve relied on for support."




 

If you're interested in being a BIG like Travis, visit mentoringkids.org or give our Volunteer Outreach and Enrollment Specialist Heather a call at (812) 425-6076 ext. 1 or shoot her an e-mail at hhicks@mentoringkids.org.

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