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Tevon was struggling with behavioral issues at school. He had been suspended several times and he was having difficulty controlling his emotions  during altercations with his peers. His mom worried he was developing a reputation would affect him harshly as a young African American male. 

Wanting Tevon to have a positive influence in his life, she brought him to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks to find a Big Brother who can guide him. He was matched with Brandon in December 2016. 

Tevon’s Big Brother, Brandon, said he can relate to Tevon when it comes to the struggles of being a young African American male. Brandon didn’t grow up with many positive male influences and felt that it was part of his responsibility as a successful black man to show other black males that they can be vulnerable, educated, and successful in life.

Over the last year, Brandon has worked with Tevon on the difference between right and wrong, respect, and how to voice his feelings and opinions in a productive way.

“Brandon has taught me to just do good things in my life," Tevon said. "Brandon is always talking to me about right and wrong, and I think he's shown me that it's better to do more things that are right instead of wrong.” 

Tevon’s grades and school performance have also vastly improved since he and Brandon were first matched a year ago. His grades have gone from Bs and Cs — while getting suspended from school all the time — to As and Bs, and he continues to improve.