Each month, Big Brothers Big Sisters recognizes one outstanding Big for a strong commitment to his or her Little and to our overall mentoring mission. Read about how these Bigs connect with their Littles, what they talk about with their matches and how they overcome challenges while growing in their mentor friendships.
If you were to ask 15-year-old Evan how many times he and his Big Brother Bill DeVahl have hung out since being matched in July 2007, Evan would immediately answer, “We’ve had exactly 190 outings!” If that number alone isn’t enough to express the incredible bond Bill and Evan share, just flip through the match’s shared journal where there live detailed entries capturing memories from all 190 get-togethers.
The journal goes everywhere with them and represents a living timeline of their friendship. It starts with Evan as a shy, 11-year-old boy with unsteady handwriting and evolves through their four years together. Today, Evan authors entries as a confident, mature teenager.
The pages of the journal describe the myriad of activities Bill and Evan enjoy doing together: they watch movies, enjoy baseball games, go fishing and participate in Big Brothers Big Sisters events. But their most-treasured match activity is going to Panera in Woodbury. There, they play chess, play word games, talk and read books. Having just finished reading “Tuesdays with Morrie,” Evan wrote in the journal that the most precious thing Bill has given him is his time.
Bill remembers back to life before he shared time with Evan and acknowledges that the thought of mentoring a young boy had “been on my mind for a long time.” After reading profiles in the St. Paul Pioneer Press of Littles waiting to be matched, Bill decided to sign up and become a Big Brother.
Reading through their journal, Bill and Evan smile about the 190 memories they’ve made together–memories neither Big nor Little would have if Bill hadn’t stepped forward as a mentor. With a friendship as unwavering at theirs, Bill and Evan are sure to add many more chapters to the journal as the chapters of their brotherhood unfold.