Jaylen was getting in trouble at school and earning low grades, and his mother was struggling to raise him and his two siblings.
Hoping for some relief, she enrolled both of her sons as Little Brothers through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, and Jaylen was matched with Big Brother Mike Faunce, a business development director at Nexient.
“Mike has taught me a lot,” Jaylen says. “He has taught me how to respect people and how to treat other people how they treat me.”
When Jaylen’s school had an event called “Donuts with Dad,” he invited Mike.
“Going to the school that day and hearing him tell everyone how we were ‘brothers’ and watching them try to make sense of it was literally the sweetest, most surreal and proudest moment of my life,” Mike says.
A couple of years into their match, Mike and Jaylen had an important conversation. Jaylen’s brother’s Big Brother had left the program, and he was now without a Big. Michael talked to Big Brothers Big Sisters and informally took on mentoring Jaylen’s brother, too. Then Jaylen’s twin sister needed a Big Sister.
Two projects expected to create 279 new, well-paying jobs and generate a total private investment of $27.2 million in the Ann Arbor region have received support from the Michigan Strategic Fund, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.