Tykel & Stuart

Tykel & Stuart

I have had the privilege to work with a variety of Bigs and Littles throughout my years at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is when I have the opportunity to introduce a Big and Little to one another for the first time. The youth are often nervous yet excited to meet a new friend and the volunteers ready to have the opportunity to have fun and make a difference in the life of a child.

One of my favorite match introductions was when I introduced Big Brother Stuart and Little Brother Tykell. Tykell was extremely reserved and I had visited with Stuart about this prior to the introduction.

When I arrived to the house, Tykell was working on his rendition of a claw machine, an arcade game that is often at store entrances where people play to win stuffed animals. Tykell had his own little version, with mechanical moving parts just like in the stores. It even had the lights, music and coin operation slot as well. Tykell was pretty nervous when his Stuart arrived; he didn’t say much and continued to tinker with his project.

After visiting with Stuart and Tykell’s family, I suggested that Stuart and Tykell take some time to visit with one another and make plans for their next outing. Stuart started asking Tykell questions about his machine, such as how things work and how he came up with the design. Tykell’s face lit up as Stuart divulged into the world of mechanics and shared his own knowledge of machines and how they work. As I left the house that night, I knew the two of them had hit if off.

Today, the match is going strong and Stuart has done a variety of things with Tykell that he hadn’t previously had the opportunity to do. Together they have volunteered at the community garden, started to learn how to play the harmonica and Stuart showed Tykell his old steam engine that his grandfather had made for him. They now have plans of making one of their own together.

– Valerie Kovarna, Mentor Coordinator