Local resident Bob Hall received the “School of the Year” award at the 2015 Volunteer Recognition Dinner on Thursday, July 23 at Hotel Fort Wayne for his exceptional work with the Agency and the profound impact that he has had on his Little Brother, Corbert.
He was selected among five other nominees by a carefully selected panel of judges consisting of community leaders from across the Agency’s 13-county service area, who rated the nominees based on information from their Littles, the Littles’ parents and Agency staff members. The panel of judges is as follows: Eric Johnson, Tuthill Transfer Systems; Jason Knothe, JH Specialty; Gary Hamilton, Fort Wayne Police Department Chief; Kathy Callen, Old National Bank; Heather Henrickson, Kohl’s; Michael Zahn, First Federal Savings Bank; Doug Roth, Do It Best Corp.
Big Brother Bob has been matched with Little Brother Corbert since 2009, when Corbert was just six years old. As Corbert’s interests grew and developed, they were able to expand their activities to reading and playing games, working on projects and talking about each other’s interests. Bob is often impressed by how smart Corbert is and works to help him hone his social skills and capitalize on the opportunities available to him.
“I’ve enjoyed being a School Buddy,” said Hall. “Corbert is such a bright kid – it amazes me at times to hear him talk about what interests him and it has been great to watch him mature and grow into a young man.”
Last year, Big Brother Bob’s job was relocated further away from Corbert’s school, but he continued to drive 40 minutes out of his way every week just to see Corbert during his lunch period. Corbert told staff members at the Agency that his relationship with Bob meant a lot to him and he was glad that Bob was able to keeping coming to see him.
When they first met, Little Brother Corbert needed a Big Brother who could give him individualized attention to help build his self-esteem. With the help and encouragement he has received from Bob, Corbert has grown into a young man who gets along with his peers and is able to express himself better. His social skills have improved greatly and he is more prone to consider the thoughts and feelings of others before thinking of his own. Bob’s caring and humble nature has been an excellent example for Corbert to emulate, and today Corbert continues to grow into a considerate and confident young man.