Romaine, 12, is growing up with his mother, Tara, but without any other family. When Romaine was nine years-old, Tara began to feel the pressure of raising him by herself. “I have found being a single mom and trying to raise a boy into a man is a challenge,” she says. “There are things a mom just can’t ‘get’ or understand.” It was then that Tara referred Romaine to Big Brothers Big Sisters, and they soon met Robert. As a young adult, Robert had the guidance of his parents, friends and radio DJs, and he was hoping to become a “part of the solution” for the many children in our community who are lacking the consistency of an adult role model.
Romaine and Robert were matched in August 2014, and have shared many memorable experiences together including visiting Apple Hill, fishing, go cart racing, riding roller coasters and going to WrestleMania in 2015, where they met The Miz. Though they have done some exciting things together, the time that is most important to Romaine and Robert is the time they frequently spend just hanging out, going to the movies or cooking, something they both have a natural talent for. They are even sure to bring home a sample of their cooking to Tara after every masterpiece they make.
Robert has truly embraced Romaine as family, and it is clear how important they are in each other’s lives. When Robert got married last year, Tara and Romaine were both in attendance, and you can see Romaine’s smiling face in many of the family wedding photos. Robert shares that his favorite part of the match is watching Romaine succeed, and he hopes that he continues to set goals for himself in the future.
“Romaine has really opened up and has a true friend he can rely on,” says Tara.
“Rob is always there, and I believe that they will be friends for a lifetime!” While the experience has been incredibly rewarding for Romaine, Robert has also found himself changed in the process. “When you are a Big you get more than you give,” says Robert, “and what you give means so much.”