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Be There Now: Big Brothers Big Sisters Spotlights Trusting and Enduring Relationship

Little Brother Kenneth finds some stability in an otherwise chaotic life, thanks to Big Brother Francisco.

Little Brother Kenneth and his siblings have not had an easy childhood. They do not have a strong relationship with their father, who has been in jail much of their lives. 

As soon as he was released from prison several months ago, their mom was also arrested. With their mom incarcerated and their dad not present in their lives, Kenneth and his siblings now live with their grandmother.  

Big Brother Francisco has been a powerful and stable force in Kenneth’s life.    Kenneth first came to Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2006 and he was introduced to Big Brother, Stephen. When Big Brother Stephen left St. Louis for medical school, Kenneth was introduced to Francisco.

At the same time Kenneth met his Big Brother Francisco, he transferred to Columbia Elementary School, where he was very lost. Fortunately, Kenneth recently transferred back to Dunbar Elementary School.  

Since 2009, through school transfers and family struggles, Francisco has been there for him. While Francisco is focused on helping Kenneth academically, he is determined to see Kenneth succeed in life. Francisco has had the opportunity to get to know Kenneth’s family and has been invited to family dinners. 

Francisco was even at his Little Brother’s house when Kenneth’s father was released from jail. While it isn’t always easy, Francisco stays positive and tries to help Kenneth see his potential.  

Francisco and Kenneth love to read and do homework together. Francisco is excited to see what Kenneth can do throughout the next several months. He recently asked Kenneth’s teacher for a syllabus so he would know what lessons to focus on.

Kenneth’s siblings are all acting out in school, but with the support of Francisco, Kenneth did not receive one discipline referral during the school year's first semester, and he continues to stay on grade level in both reading and math.

More than 1,000 children are on the waiting list, wanting a Big Brother or Big Sister to support and inspire them. Consider becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister and help spread the word to adults who may be interested in becoming part of the Program. It’s time to Be There Now! for our community’s children.

For more information, or to apply to be a mentor, visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters Web site at www.bbbsemo.org, or contact Vivian Gibson at 314-361-5900 or betherenow@bbbsemo.org.

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