By Nancy Nafziger
Benjamin Christensen is a Big Brother Big Sister volunteer with an inspiring story.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ben is the Big Brother to Arthur and came into the preteen’s life four years ago. The Big Brother Big Sister of the Greater Twin Cities located near Kinetic Data’s office in St. Paul, MN helped connect the two.
“I’ve since come to find out that I’ve gotten more out of the program than I think I’ve actually put into it with Arthur and so that’s been quite an experience,” Ben says.
“Ben has been a good influence on my life, I wasn’t getting into trouble, but I’m pretty sure, if Ben hadn’t come along, I’d end up like a friend of mine and he’s gotten into the cigarettes and weed and stuff like that.” Arthur says.
“Everyone can use a mentor at any age.” Ben says.
Ben and Arthur do many brotherly activities together. Ben taught Arthur how to play cribbage and create a resume. They often shoot hoops. Ben continues to focus on helping Arthur with his academics. They are working on improving Arthur’s GPA so that he can expand his college opportunities.
Ben and Arthur’s Big Brother relationship has been mutually beneficial. Arthur will always be part of Ben’s life. In May, Arthur had the honor or being a groomsman in Ben’s marriage to a Big Sister he met through the program.
Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is one of the most fulfilling things Ben has ever done. This experience has given him the opportunity to help shape Arthur’s future.
Lastly, Ben’s volunteer work hasn’t gone unnoticed. In August, Mpls.–St. Paul, MN News Channel KARE 11 awarded Ben the 11 Who Care Award! This program recognizes outstanding volunteers in the community.
To hear Ben and Arthur’s story, check out KARE 11’s video and story.