Put Little Brother Leroy in front of some Legos and he can build just about anything. He can also fix most things, or at least give it a good try, and someday – after his pro football career ends, of course – he hopes to be an inventor.
And he’s only 10.
Who could Big Brothers Big Sisters possibly match up with such a precocious wunderkind?
How about a doctor?
Leroy’s Big Brother is Dr. Ken Austin, a noted Fort Wayne anesthesiologist, and they’ve been matched for three years.
“I feel like this is a blessing for Leroy to have a Big Brother,” Leroy’s mother Kim said. “Leroy really doesn’t have a male role model in his life, but to see Ken and his wife be successful doctors, to see people of our color be successful is so wonderful, especially when it’s his Big Brother.”
But the feeling is mutual because Ken believes he gets as much enjoyment, fulfillment and friendship out of Leroy as he’s giving to the boy.
“It’s nice for him to want to know how things work and things like that,” Ken said. “Maybe he’ll be more of an engineer or an entrepreneur, we’ll see. It’s good for him someone his age to think that way.”
How about encouraging Leroy to consider becoming a doctor?
“He asks questions a lot about that,” Ken said. “I think he’s a little intrigued by that as well. He asks lots of questions now.”
When they first started, Leroy wasn’t very talkative, but the longer the two are together the more Leroy opens up and asks those questions. He loves it when Ken comes to watch his football games where Leroy was the team’s most valuable player last year as a defensive end. Football is his real goal right now, but Ken is pushing him to work on his grades in case football doesn’t work out someday. He realizes that Leroy’s brain is pretty important and also needs to be worked on and developed.
So far, Leroy is listening pretty well.
“He can give me ideas,” Leroy said. “He’s nice, kind, careful and always tells me to try my best. He’s dependable, and he’s always there for me.”
Most of the time, the guys like to go fishing, race go-karts, go bowling and go to movies. They’ve also toured Sweetwater and Science Central a few times.
“He looks forward to our outings,” Ken said. “He’s become a lot more assertive in him picking what we’re going to do next and things like that. Now he decides a lot of the things we’re doing.”
But most of the time, Ken just tries to show Leroy all that is possible.
“I could not have asked for a better match,” Kim said. “That match was amazing from the start, and Ken has been a blessing for us.”
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