“One of the biggest things that I love about Nathan is his energy and how every time I come to see him, he’s got a huge smile on his face,” says Big Brother Corey about his Little Brother, Nathan.
Corey and Nathan have been matched for almost a year and immediately connected over their love for the outdoors and hands-on projects. They spend their time eating blizzards from Dairy Queen, go-cart racing, building things, and fishing. Corey describes Nathan as a wealth of information and a ball of energy. He’s passionate about engines and the automotive world, knowing much more about motors than your average 10-year-old.
Corey learned about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee through a networking event and wanted to become a Big because of the mentors he’s had in his own life. “When I looked at how I was successful and what I did to help me get to where I was, a big piece of that was the mentors and relationships I made along the way,” says Corey. “And I think that’s really important for children of all ages to have that mentor, that person they can call.” Corey feels Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee helps bridge that gap for youth in need of a mentor and joined the program to give back since mentorship had such a huge impact on him.
Nathan’s mother, Teresa, knew how important it was for Nathan to have a positive male role model in his life to help him go above and beyond. And having Corey as a Big has helped him do just that. At such a young age, Nathan has a lot of goals. One goal being getting more comfortable speaking with adults. In the past year, Corey has seen Nathan go from being a quiet kid, to coming more and more of his shell as they work towards this goal.
“He’s one of those kids who’s always striving to be the best. He’s always working towards trying to master whatever he’s doing,” says Corey.
Nathan wanted a Big Brother so he could have someone to talk to and learn from to make sure he does things the right way. Corey believes that with Nathan being such smart kid, he could have figured out a lot on his own but knows being there for him as a mentor has given him that extra boost he needed to realize his potential.
But Nathan isn’t the only one who’s grown from their relationship. One of the most rewarding things about being a Big for Corey is learning from Nathan and getting to see the way he views the world. “He’s just really loving the world and living one day at a time and that really helps me be able to do the same thing,” says Corey.
He sees Nathan’s potential and wants to always be there for him, guiding him and telling him he can do it, whatever it might be. “I think that to me, one of the biggest overarching goals of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee is bringing that potential out of these kids. It’s already there. We just have to bring it out of them,” Corey says.
Corey and Nathan look forward to many more years of go-cart racing, Dairy Queen outings, and learning from each other.