Mike & Juan: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lone Star

Pictured above is Mike, beaming with pride after his mentee, Juan, walked across the stage to receive his high school diploma, knowing he will be college-bound in the fall. Mike was there for Juan on that day, just as he had been on so many other days leading up to this milestone. Like most students served through the partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star and iMentor, Juan will be a first-generation college graduate. As he puts it, “There’s so much that I did not know about the process of applying for college, but it was Mike who helped break down the steps for me.”

Juan certainly had what it took to succeed all along, but it wasn’t always a given that he would attend college. Early into their match, Mike noticed that Juan was struggling academically and found it difficult to set clear goals. Like a true champion, Mike was there to help Juan navigate the path to college. This involved communicating weekly via the online platform and attending monthly in-person events. Beyond that, Mike researched scholarships and financial aid options, even taking time off from work to meet with Juan.

This investment of time and energy paid off. Juan was not only accepted to college, he was awarded grants and scholarships that cover his college tuition. He’ll soon be attending Mountain View Community College in the fall. But one thing is for sure: He and Mike will remain close friends. Juan credits Mike’s support with him getting him this far, and he has much farther to go.