Six years ago, I joined the BBBSKC program as a Little Brother and met my Big, Charles. We bonded immediately.
About two years into our match, I nominated Charles for Big Brother of the Year, and he won! Because he won, we got the opportunity to film a video talking about our match. When we showed up to the Match Appreciation Banquet that year, it really blew me away at how much of an impact Big Brothers Big Sisters has on the lives of children, not just in Kansas City, but nationwide.
Soon, I’d get a chance to be a part of that nationwide impact.
At the end of the banquet, Micheal Lawrence, CEO of BBBSKC, approached us and thanked Charles for what he has done for me and said he hoped our match would last forever. Charles then told Michael that if there were ever any events he would want us to speak at, we were one hundred percent down for that!
Now, at the time I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal — I thought maybe I’d say a few words, talk about our match, and leave, but they had other plans for us. I started speaking at events more often, and eventually they broke the news to me that there would be a new position in the program called “The Voice of Potential.”
They explained everything about the position to me and told me how it would work, and at the end of the conversation, they told me they wanted me to be the first Voice of Potential EVER in BBBSKC history!
Throughout the rest of the year, I was given more and more information about my new role — I even got to go to a board meeting to tell the board what I would bring to the table for the organization! I believed that having the viewpoint from a Little that’s currently in the program could help them gain more interest from potential Littles and Bigs, and I was eager to get started!
Soon after, I was officially offered the position, and I couldn’t have been happier! I started speaking at events almost three to four times a month, and I was starting to get recognized, too!
Once in a lifetime
One day, Charles told me that BBBS had given us tickets to a Chiefs game, and I thought to myself — “That’s so cool!”
Now, I had been to many games before, but he didn’t tell me what would happen at the game.
We showed up about four hours early and tailgated with some friends of Charles — we told them we were going to the game and that BBBS had a surprise for us, which was that we were going to go down on the field and meet the owner of the Chiefs, Clark Hunt!
We went into the stadium, and they showed us where our seats were and escorted us down to the field to meet Mr. Hunt. Little did we know he ALSO had a surprise for us!
We took some pictures with him and watched the Chiefs warm-up, and he told us to keep Super Bowl weekend open because he was sending us to the SUPER BOWL! Charles and I didn’t know how to react — we were amazed! We thanked him and let him know how appreciative we were.
About a week and a half later, we flew to Atlanta, and it was amazing! We visited the Coca-Cola headquarters and the Lenox Mall, which was huge. At the mall, I even met rapper “Lil Jon” and took a picture with him! We stayed in Atlanta for three days and had a blast.
I can’t thank BBBS enough for this opportunity, and I hope the friendship I’ve made with Charles is truly lifelong. My time as the Voice of Potential for Big Brothers Big Sisters really can’t be summed up with one word, but if I were to think of one phrase I could say, I would say it has been the experience of a lifetime.
The opportunities that this position have offered me are like no other, and I couldn’t think of an organization that loves what it does as much as Big Brothers Big Sisters. I can't wait to continue to share more about my Voice of Potential experience — this is just the beginning!