Big of the Year, Kyle Kauma!

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Let’s continue our summer of recognition for our 2014 Bigs of the Year! Next up is Kyle Kauma, college student and dedicated School-Based mentor.

Regardless of weather conditions, a difficult commute, or a busy schedule,  University of Minnesota sophomore Kyle Kauma, 19, makes the commitment to meet with his Little Brother, Hayyuu, 8, at his elementary school every week. The two spend their time getting to know each other by doing homework together, chatting, and playing games. In just a little over a year, Kyle’s dedication has made a profound impact on the way Hayyuu views the classroom. According to their Match Coordinator, Paula, “Hayyuu has a much better attitude about school and is starting to think about the idea of higher education, something he initially said he didn’t think he was going to attend,”

Hayyuu’s second-grade teacher, Cindy Liu has also noticed some additional benefits to Hayyuu’s friendship with Kyle, saying “Hayyuu became more positive, responsible and emotionally mature.” She goes on to say that,  “Hayyuu started enjoying school and learning. His mom came to me excitedly saying, ‘Hayyuu changed! Hayyuu changed!’”

From their Match Coordinators point of view, “Kyle truly cares about Hayyuu…He does a great job of influencing and guiding Hayyuu to set him on the right path.” For Kyle, it seems as though mentoring is more than an extracurricular activity; it’s a dedication to provide a strong, enduring, and meaningful friendship.

The two continue to meet weekly during the school year, and Hayyuu can sense that he’s a priority, saying, “We laugh a lot. He tells me that I can do anything. He is the best Big Brother anyone could ever have.”

Congratulations Big of the Year, Kyle Kauma!

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