Big Brother Trever and Little Brother Gavin have been matched for over two and a half years. Trever joined Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay because he wanted to volunteer as a mentor to a child and teach them the importance of working hard and being responsible. Gavin was enrolled in the program at the beginning of 3rd grade because his mom wanted him to have a positive male influence in his life. She was looking for someone who could teach Gavin life skills, the importance of school, help him with his reading, and instill the value of saving and spending money wisely. Gavin was funny, polite, and talkative, and wanted a Big Brother because on occasion he “got lonely.”
On their first outing, Trever was already incorporating reading into their time together. They went out to eat and Trever helped Gavin read some new things on the menu. Trever talked about wanting to teach Gavin how to be a gentleman, work hard, and do basic “handyman” skills that “a kid learns while being around men.” By the middle of his 3rd-grade year, Gavin was still struggling with his reading and the school was not providing the individualized help he needed to succeed. Gavin’s confidence was dropping because he wasn’t able to read as quickly as the other kids. He had switched schools and was beginning to get into trouble. Despite Gavin’s struggles at school, Trever continued to consistently spend time with Gavin, talking about situations at school, bringing him to the motorcycle shop he owned, teaching him what it took to become a business owner, and showing that hard work and dedication can go a long way.
Within the first year of their match, Gavin had moved and changed schools twice, and Trever had a new baby, but their relationship continued to grow. Gavin had improved in school and both his mother and Big Brother noticed a lot of changes in Gavin’s growth and maturity. Regardless of the number of changes for Gavin in a short time, Trever never complained and remained consistent. A few months later the family moved again, but this time they moved nearly 1 hour away from Trever. Even with the distance, Trever was determined to remain in Gavin’s life and made the adjustment. He spent once a month with Gavin for all-day outings and made sure to keep in touch with Gavin and his mom over the phone in-between visits. Trever even introduced Gavin to his new baby!
Recently, Gavin started his 5th-grade year and made the decision that he wanted to “do better this year and dress nicer.” Gavin’s mom reported that Trever has had a number of conversations with Gavin about being responsible and suggested things he can do to help out his mom around the house. Gavin began doing his laundry and even cooked dinner for his mom! As they celebrated their 2 years match anniversary, Trever talked about what a good kid Gavin is and that he feels very lucky to be matched with him. They continue to grow their friendship and Trever teaches Gavin that even through life changes and distance, friendship doesn’t have to change.
Learn how to become a Big at bbbstampabay.org/be-a-big/