Every year we invite staff members, parents, teachers, children and fellow volunteers to nominate Bigs who have demonstrated extraordinary measures of dedication to their Littles and our agency’s mission. We honor one Big Sister and one Big Brother from both the School-based and Community-based Programs, as well as one High School volunteer, as Bigs of the Year. For the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting this year’s honorees and sharing with you their stories—enjoy!
Today we honor our Community-based Program’s Big Brother of the Year, Robert Weber.
The dedication, commitment and long-lasting friendship BBBS symbolizes can be illustrated in the relationship between Robert Weber and his Little Brother Adrian (Adi). Robert recalls the first time they met in March 2002: “We seemed to strike a real friendship and bond almost instantly. I thought Adi was a sweet, polite boy.”
Since the start of their friendship, Robert and Adi have been active participants in BBBS events such as The Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser—where they are customarily the top fundraisers.
Adi says Robert has been a role model and the type of person he strives to become in the future. “Robert gives so much to everyone he meets. He is kind, caring, passionate and polite,” says Adi. “That’s the kind of person I want to be. I think that’s the type of person everyone wants to be.”
Whether it is acting as the manager of Adi’s garage band or supporting his future Eagle Scout aspirations, Robert is always right alongside his Little Brother cheering him on.
“Robert is so giving and encourages Adi to do the same,” says Francie, Adi’s mother.
She credits her son’s Big Brother with providing stability in his life throughout the years and being a beacon to help guide Adi. “They truly are brothers; they have a bond you can see whenever they are together. My son would not be the person he is today without his Big Brother Robert.”
Through their eight years together, Robert has gone from trying to figure out what activities to do with an elementary-school boy to helping Adi get his driver’s license. And now he is helping him prepare for college and his future.
“Adi has developed confidence in himself, and has become more disciplined and responsible over the years,” says Robert. “He has the people skills and optimism to be a great leader. He might become a music teacher, or I could see him involved in social work, or even running his own business. The sky is the limit for Adi.”
Adi is grateful for the role Robert has played in his life, and for all of the important lessons Robert has instilled in him throughout their time together.
“There is a William Penn quote I think of every time I think about Robert,” Adi says. ‘“Seek not to be rich, but happy. The one lies in bags, the other in content, which wealth can never give.’”