Big Brothers Big Sisters Impacted Mike Brown

Friday, March 20 at 06:40 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Special thanks to Mike Brown who has graciously shared his heartfelt memory of how the United Way sponsored agency of Big Brothers Big Sisters had such a positive impact on him as a young man.

Mike Brown: “I was just a 9-year-old third grader when I first learned about Big Brothers Big Sisters. I was raised in a single parent home and my mom heard about the positive male role models that BBBS offers. I remember when I was introduced to Tom, my ‘big brother.’ He was super nice and loved baseball as much as I did. I knew we were going to get along great. Tom truly became more like a member of the family. He would come to birthday parties. We would go to Cardinal baseball games. But overall, he would teach me important life lessons like manners and respect for others. 

Tom and I were paired up for almost four years before he left to go to grad school. But almost 30 years later we still stay in touch. Maybe not the two or three visits or calls a week we used to have but when we do talk on the phone, it is like nothing has changed. This is why I support Big Brothers Big Sisters. I know first-hand the impact that a positive role model has in the life of a young boy or girl. Tom would tell you that it also has a profound impact on the ‘big’ as well.” 

A study conducted by The Lily Endowment shows a big/little match after as few as 18 months has the following impact on the littles:
  • 46 percent less likely to use illegal drugs
  • 27 percent less likely to use alcohol
  • 52 percent less likely to skip school
  • 37 percent less likely to skip a class
  • 33 percent less likely to hit someone
But what mattered to the children were not the activities. It was the fact that they had a caring adult in their lives. Because they had someone to confide in and to look up to, they were, in turn, doing better in school and at home. And at a time in their lives when even small choices can change the course of their future, the littles were also avoiding violence and substance abuse.

For more information about United Way’s sponsored agency, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jasper/Newton counties, visit*

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank.
Tags: Community Support, Joplin, Missouri
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