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Match Monday: Big Brother David & Little Brother Christian

Match Monday: Big Brother David & Little Brother Christian

David Hunt is an entrepreneur by nature, having started multiple companies, including Spor, a company that manufactures solar-powered battery chargers. In keeping true to his entrepreneurial spirit, David is responsible for creating the Entrepreneurs Beyond School Walls (BSW) program. The program includes twenty adult entrepreneurs (the Bigs), spanning several industries, matched with ninth and tenth graders (the Littles) at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science in Philadelphia.

Big Brother David and Little Brother Christian have only been matched for seven months, but you’d think they’ve known one another for years. In a recent interview, the pair discussed a wide range of topics, including how they’ve changed as a result of their match, and what their hopes for the future are.

David & Christian

David, how did you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)? 

David: My roommate is a Big Brother at Cigna, and he told me a lot about his experiences and the value he was getting from youth. I went to an event at the Constitution Center where I found out about the impact BBBS had at companies like Cigna, so I asked if it was something that could be replicated for entrepreneurs. One person said yes, and then another person said, “If you can get 25 entrepreneurs together, we’ll fund it.” And here we are, less than a year later, with the Entrepreneurs BSW program.

David & Christian (2)

What are some of the things you usually talk about?

Christian: Well, a big part would be stuff that’s happening now [current events].

David: Yeah, I mean talking about this TIME thing on Scott Kelly (points to magazine cover) who’s been up in space for a year. A consistent theme for us is talking about exposure. We’re constantly talking about how exposure to new ideas and new people and experiences helps develop people. And on a broader level, how it helps develop society. When I first met Christian, I was taken aback, because I was like, “Woah, alright, there’s a lot of depth of thought there! That’s not even a kid.” And I had to ask, “Who’s being mentored here?” Because obviously it’s not him, it’s me. Haha!

*Christian laughs*

Christian: Well, yeah I mean I get the same thing from you! Stuff that I never thought about. For example, I was telling my grandmother about how many people would be let down if I do something wrong, and the weight I feel on my shoulders because of that. And [David] said, “Don’t think about it like that. Think about how many people you have to inspire!” I never would’ve thought about it like that. It changed my whole perspective.

Is there a memory that sticks out as your favorite/most important? 

Christian: Oh! When I got accepted into a local Philadelphia STEM program! David gave me one of the Spor chargers, and it had the mushroom packaging [biodegradable packaging made from mycelium] that was a congratulations letter, and David had all these people sign it. I felt like, “Wow, I’m really moving in a positive direction and doing good stuff.” So that was just really cool.

What about for you David?

David: Ha, yeah, there are a few! If I had to isolate it to one moment, I think it would be when he texted me saying that he got accepted into the STEM program. Through texts you’re just sending each other a bunch of GIFs and Memes like, “Yeahhhh! That’s awesome!” But after the kind of jokes and congratulations, he said, “Yeah, I’ve just got to keep going. This is still just another step.” That was a special moment for me, seeing someone’s success. You’re seeing someone grow, and that’s beautiful.

Christian: I feel the same. He’s always inspiring me to do big things. The inspiration is always there.

How would your lives be different if you hadn’t been matched to one another?

Christian: It would be a lot different. I feel like I wouldn’t have as much to look forward to. Even though I’ve only known David for a couple of months, he’s up here with people that I’ve known my whole life. It’s just genuine and authentic. I feel like he’s the brother I never had. Without him, I’d be like a puzzle, with a couple pieces removed.

David: A few ways. I don’t think I would be as charged up and passionate about life. When you see Christian doing the things that he’s doing, you feel that buzz. I also don’t know if I would be as responsible. I have this Little Brother that I need to be cognizant of in a lot of my decisions. I view going through challenges and opportunities as a process, and I probably wouldn’t have that view without our interaction. When you have interactions across generations, you literally see time for what it is, which is a progression. It has created this whole process of reflection for me.

So Christian, would you ever become a Big Brother?

David: He already is!

Christian: Haha! Yes, because I see the impact that David has had on my life. Just being here, I look forward to that. I know there’s kids who don’t have that relationship who need it, whether it’s a brother or a father figure. They need something, some person in their life where they can have an equal relationship of learning, and taking, and helping, and inspiring, and pushing each other. And that’s what I feel like this is. There’s so many ways that we benefit from this relationship. I just see it as, why not help? That could be me. I feel like you get and then you give. A teacher teaches, but she learns. It’s an equal learning experience.

What would you tell others about becoming a Big, David? 

David: I would ask people to reflect on a time where life was dark, and they just needed someone to give them a helping hand or to show them a different way, or ask them a different question. And when they didn’t have that how did they feel? And how would they feel if they could be that for someone. And putting themselves in the shoes of being able to tangibly help someone who might not have all the resources in life that you had, or might not have all the wisdom and insight. And also, when’s the last time that you learned something you weren’t expecting? Take a look at BBBS and I guarantee that it’ll triple that, because you’ll learn things that you weren’t expecting day in and day out.

What future hopes do you have for Christian?

David: One tangible one is MIT. One subjective is to continue developing yourself. And also to never take people for granted. There’s always something you can learn from someone. I would say those. And then one I just came up with today as we were talking about wealth and indigenous society, to find the balance between. And to be able to have the wealth and status that you desire, while also leveraging a very natural and in tune perspective.

Final thoughts?

Christian: Within just being here and the relationship we’ve started, I see a change in myself with the opportunities that I get. Now I see things as, why just get the A? Why just get a 90? On the report card, an A is an A, but why not reach for new things and reach higher and push yourself harder? And I see that in you [David], so for me it’s like, “Let me get off my behind, get this book in my hands and let’s start reading and doing more. So yeah, I’m just trying to keep up with you! Haha.

David: You da man bruh!