It all started with a newspaper article.
In 2005, Big Brothers Big Sisters had a “Kid of the Week” article posted in the local newspaper, a snapshot of a child in need of a Big. Thankfully, it caught Mike Welch’s eye. This article called for a police officer to apply to become the Big Brother of a Little, and Mike felt that he fit the bill. He had been working as a reserve police officer, backed by his experience as an elementary school counselor and junior high teacher. His decision to take that first step changed the lives of both himself and his Little, Kammeron.
A line from a letter Kammeron’s mother, Christian, wrote says it all: Mike is a “wonderful man and role model, someone who could be trusted and that you could turn to no matter what. Someone who you know would never turn his back on you and [will] be there for you without hesitation.”
The best Bigs are characterized by the ability bring out the best in their Little. Mike has displayed – and continues to display –the precise qualities that we believe make up the most effective and caring Big. As Littles grow, Bigs must grow and adapt with them. To see their interests and care for each other grow, assistance with overcoming obstacles and the ability to learn while having fun together. These qualities are what brought Big Brothers Big Sisters to name Mike the 2017 Big of the Year on National Thank Your Mentor Day – January 19, 2017. (For more on our celebration, see this post.)
BBBS Director Sue Godfrey says, “We at BBBS are amazed by Mike AND Kammeron. A strong mentor match that lasts over time requires commitment by the Big and the Little. So while Mike is honored as Big of the year, I also offer congratulations to Kammeron, a senior at Muncie Central, for his commitment to being a Little Brother and to Mike. Parents also make a commitment to BBBS and the Big. We thank Christian for her continued support of her son and of BBBS!”
Mike and Kammeron's match has been consistent, encouraging, and lasted through time.
With Mike’s help and influence, Kammeron has gained confidence in himself, and is beginning to think about how he can positively impact other’s lives.
Mike’s dedication to Kammeron and Big Brothers Big Sisters has rightfully earned him the Big of the Year! We want to thank Mike for demonstrating what the impact of a great Big can have on the life of your Little and in our community.