Keason is an honor roll student, has a 4.0 grade point average, and is known as the most popular guy in school. This outgoing, fun loving student has his hand in many esteemed positions such as hall monitor, and the position of judge at his school’s student court. He is full of life and personality, and won’t hesitate to tell you that he’s Beyonce’s number one fan. Keason is well on his way to a life of success, but he struggled to become the young man he is today.
Keason was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, and lives with his mother and sister. He has many other brothers and sisters that are spread out across the area. “It’s like the Brady Bunch times two,” he tells us. One of Keason’s older brothers had a mentor at an organization called Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, and this led their mother to try to find a match for both Keason and his sister. When the organization finally found someone to mentor Keason, a young lawyer named Abe, things in his life began to change.
DURING HIS 6TH GRADE YEAR, KEASON EXPLAINS THAT HE DIDN’T CARE ABOUT HIS STUDIES. HE DID NOT HAVE THE WILL OR FOCUS TO BE A GOOD STUDENT, AND HIS GRADES SUFFERED FOR IT. IT WASN’T UNTIL ABE WOULD PICK HIM UP FOR THEIR WEEKLY OUTINGS THAT KEASON FOUND A REASON TO TRY HARDER AT SCHOOL. ABE ASKED KEASON ABOUT SCHOOL EACH TIME THEY MET. HE WOULD CHALLENGE KEASON TO WORK HARDER, AND RAISE HIS GRADES. AFTER A WHILE, KEASON LEARNED THAT ABE WOULD MOST LIKELY NOT LET UP ON HIM UNTIL SOMETHING CHANGED. “I BETTER STRAIGHTEN UP,” HE THOUGHT.
Straighten up he did. The more Abe and Keason met, the better his grades were. Abe explains that he was not pushing Keason just to push him. He saw that Keason was very bright and had great potential, and recognized that his scores didn’t reflect that. As Keason’s grades began to turn around, Abe finally saw the fruit of their mentorship. Abe had long desired to make a significant impact on one person, because he believes this creates a ripple effect. “It’s a good feeling to know that you are positively affecting the community,” Abe says.
ABE ALSO EXPLAINED HOW KEASON GRADUALLY CAME OUT OF HIS SHELL DURING THEIR MENTORSHIP. HE SAYS, “WHENEVER I FIRST MET HIM, HE WOULD BARELY LOOK AT ME.” AS THEIR RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPED, KEASON WAS ABLE TO OPEN HIMSELF UP MORE, NOT ONLY TO ABE, BUT TO EVERYONE.
Now, Keason is known as a student leader among his peers and has also become a mentor himself. He has just finished working with younger kids at Northern Elementary for their ESL program, and is an aspiring social worker. When asked about the experience he’s had with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program over four and a half years, Keason put it simply. “I found it positive. They help you. They talk to you.” No doubt, with Keason’s determination and growth, he will continue to thrive and touch the lives of many others– the ripple effect has already begun.
“I am going to make sure I am everything I want to be.”
Article courtesy of Midnight Sun KY : https://meganeileenphotography.com/midnight-sun/