When we told Little Brother Stephen’s mother that Tyler had been chosen as August’s Big of the Month, she could not have been more pleased. “Tyler is a wonderful Big Brother. Stephen adores him and looks forward to seeing him. They always have a good time. He’s just been amazing,” she wrote. It takes great parents like her, great kids AND great Bigs to accomplish our mission of seeing all youth achieve their fullest potential. Tyler Baker is one of those great Bigs!
Tyler decided to become a Big Brother out of a desire to pay it forward. “I was encouraged, loved, and befriended by godly men who made me want to follow the Lord better, and because of that, I wanted to pay it forward and also listen to the Lord’s calling on my life to find a place to serve.” What Tyler didn’t expect was that he would gain so much from his Little Brother in return. “The thing that has surprised me most is that I actually learn more from Stephen, than he probably does from me. He is kind, caring, super funny, and a great listener. These are things that I aspire to be more like, and watching Stephen just simply live teaches me so much.”
Stephen and Tyler were matched in September 2020 and had to be creative in selecting safe ways to get together due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They found that they really enjoy outdoor activities like riding bikes around Stephen’s neighborhood, playing basketball and disc golf. One of Tyler’s favorite experiences with Stephen was attending the Winter Lightfest together. “It was freezing cold, but we made the most out of it by huddling near the space heaters throughout the trail of lights, and then sprinted back to the car after we were done to get warm again,” Tyler recalled.
As busy as his schedule is between working two jobs and volunteering with the kids and college ministries at his church, Tyler believes “that making time for something can always be done, especially when it is important to you.” “Stephen and BBBS are important to me, so making time for it is a priority,” he explained.
“Stephen is genuine, funny, and thoughtful. He has consistently made me laugh, smile, and be excited to see him. He has also consistently been thoughtful in ways that I would have never been at his age. He is great at remembering what things have been going on in my life, but also will write me kind letters and notes for things like my birthday or graduation,” shared Tyler.
We suspect that Stephen would share very similar compliments about his Big Brother Tyler. This summer, Stephen’s mom shared a photo of Stephen proudly holding an encouraging Tyler sent with him to church camp and then another photo of Tyler with the family at Stephen’s birthday party. Tyler loves that despite their more than 10 year age difference, the two are still able to connect and spend quality time together.
Tyler added, “If you are considering being a Big, I would encourage you by saying it is not only a way to serve in the community, but an even bigger opportunity to be served. Stephen's relationship with me has led me to grow in ways that I once was not aware of, and it has blessed me tremendously. Also, there are many awesome kids just like Stephen that will brighten each day that you spend with them, no matter what else is going on in life. Being a Big Brother has given me another little brother, but also a life-long friend.”
Thank you, Tyler for your willingness to serve and share life with your Little Brother!