Here at the Leadership Board, we would like to recognize some exceptional big brothers/big sisters from Delaware County. We’ve decided to start a series of short interviews featuring a few volunteers. If you would like to be featured or have any questions/concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Today’s feature big is:
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Erick Braun, and I am 31 years old. I grew up in Decatur, IN (which is just south of Fort Wayne), with my Mom, Dad, and two younger brothers. Upon graduation from Bellmont High School, I moved to Muncie and have lived here since. I am a proud alumnus of Ball State University with Degrees in elementary education and athletic administration. For the past 10 years, I have worked for the Yorktown Community School Corporation. My wife, Emily, and I have been married for two and a half years and are excited about her upcoming graduation from nursing school.
Who was your mentor growing up and why?
Growing up, I was blessed to have many positive role models in my life. Of course, I have always looked up to and strived to be like my dad. My father is a wonderful person who is always willing to give and help others. My entire family has benefited from the dedication and hard work of my dad. Luckily, I also had positive influences outside of my immediate family, like my wrestling coach, BJ Faurote. Outside of my parents and my wife, no one has had as strong of influences on my life.
What motivated you to become a Big?
I had considered being involved with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization for a short while. Having plenty of experience in working with youth, and looking for a place to get more involved with the Muncie Community, Big Brothers/Big Sisters seemed like a natural fit. While watching an episode of King of Queens, which featured the organization, I decided it was time to volunteer my services.
How long have you been a Big?
I have been a Big for nearly a year. DeShaun and I were matched in May 2011
Tell us a little about your Little:
DeShaun is a 6th grade student at Northside Middle School. He is soft spoken and tall, for his age. He enjoys a lot of athletic areas, but his favorite is definitely basketball. DeShaun has a great sense of humor and enjoys life. He is a good big brother, himself, to his younger brother at home.
What do you with your Little?
DeShaun and I enjoy competing in any variety of activities: basketball, football, baseball, golf, go-karts, laser tag, and Nintendo Wii. We have also attended Ball State basketball games, gone Christmas shopping, and watched movies at the theatre. We also enjoy going out to eat with Emily.
What do you think is the most important part of being a mentor?
I feel the most important parts of being a mentor are “teachable moments”. Each and every situation is a place to provide opportunity and experience.
What have you learned from being a Big?
I’ve learned many lessons from DeShaun, but the overwhelming theme is how good it feels to offer help to others.
Why do you think most people don’t volunteer and what is your response to that?
I do believe most people have good intentions and would like to volunteer; however, it is too easy to postpone that intention for a day when they might have “more time”. My advice would be that the feeling of gratitude and value is worth making time…
You don’t have to be Erick Braun to make a difference
The Leadership Board believes in no child without a mentor. If you would like more information on becoming a member of the Leadership Board or a Big Brother / Big Sister please contact us now.