Many of the most successful matches in our program don’t have a dramatic story arc. Instead, they are quiet, consistent relationships that emerge as a Little grows into a stronger, more confident person with the support of a caring adult. Small, everyday moments gradually build trust and friendship between Bigs and Littles, and those are the matches that can last for decades.
One of those matches is Michael and Rummon. Twelve-year-old Rummon says his favorite thing about his Big Brother is that he’s funny. “He says silly stuff all the time, just to make me laugh,” he says. Rummon is shy and very quiet, and getting him to come out of his shell isn’t easy. But Michael has a knack for making his Little Brother smile.
Rummon has always been reserved, spending a lot of time reading or playing video games. His father has been in and out of prison for most of his life, and his mother, Karima, worried that Rummon wouldn’t have a consistent, positive male role model. “Rummon needed someone to build his confidence and help him grow as a balanced young man,” she explains. When she asked BBBS to find a mentor for her son, she was hoping for someone like Michael.
Five years later, Michael and Rummon have explored so much together, from rock climbing to sledding, board games to basketball, computer games to pool. “We never argue and we always have fun,” says Rummon.
It’s easy to see why Rummon looks up to Michael. He’s successful, a Director at General Mills; he’s fun, constantly making Rummon giggle and always encouraging him to try new things. And he’s obviously proud of his Little Brother, even when he disguises his kind words as friendly teasing. “We’ve been playing basketball together as long as I’ve know him, and I never used to have to try very hard to beat him, when he was seven. But he beats me all the time, now!” he says.
But while they like to joke around, one thing Michael and Rummon both take seriously is there commitment to each other.