I was matched with my little brother Leondre a year ago and I couldn't be happier with the relationship. My little brother has overcome many challenges in his young life. Things I would never imagine anyone his age having to endure.
This is his reality. He is one of 5 children and has no relationship with his father. Five years ago, as a result of domestic violence, one of his siblings was killed by his mother's boyfriend. His mother lost custody, and another family member, Aunt Lacy, stepped in and became Leondre's legal guardian. Leondre lives with his aunt in Little Haiti. She works very hard to provide for Leondre, but because of time restraints and the area in which they live, she is unable to do much with him during the week other than help him with his homework. She needed help, so she signed him up for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Leondre had gotten into some fights in the past and had some academic difficulties, although he is quite intelligent. He needed a stable and giving male in his life that was available enough to spend time with him and take him to do fun and different activities. I was lucky enough to have a father that was always a role model to me, and I wanted to share that with someone that was not as lucky as me to have a stable male influence in their life.
Since I have been a Big, I have seen significant improvements in my Little brother. When I first met Leondre, he was nervous, shy, reserved, and was hesitant to bring up a conversational topic that was important to him. Since then, he will call me on his own accord just to talk and see what is going on with me.
He teaches me new things every time we hang out, like how to have 5 girlfriends at once, what YouTube videos are trending, and new music. The most special moment that I have with Leondre happened when we went to Dairy Queen on the way back from the batting cages when he told me that I was the best big brother he could imagine. I melted.
I have high expectations for my Little brother. He is in the right environment. He is more focused on academics. He is sure he wants to go to college, and our connection is stronger than ever. I have no doubt that Leondre and I will be friends for life.