Recognition is definitely not the motivation for the volunteerism of Jason Fenwick. Rather, a deep sense of compassion, non-judgmental attitude and a kind and loving spirit drive this man. He has been recognized by an organization in which he is actively involved: The Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Sedgwick County. He was nominated for Valvoline Caring Hands Big Brother of the Year and has utilized his networking skills to recruit teams from the radio station where he worked as well as his college fraternity to Bowl For Kids Sake. Jason Fenwick embodies the attributes of a true volunteer.
“Jason is not only a good employee, he is a good person. It is evident in this background and, importantly, the way he carries himself on a daily basis.” said Gerry Dick, President, Grow Indiana Media Ventures.
In 1991, Fenwick was matched with Bobby Prince in the Big Brother Program. Although the match technically closed when Fenwick moved to Indianapolis in the winter of 2000, he and Bobby have built this relationship into a lifetime friendship. The Big Brothers Big Sisters concept acknowledges that you change the world by changing one life. In this case, Fenwick became a strong foundation and positive male role model for a young man who desperately needed both. Fenwick looked through countless files of little boys when Bobby’s ear-to-ear grin and red bow tie jumped out at him. Instantly Fenwick knew this was his little bother. He knew something was hidden behind Bobby’s smile. Two weeks after the pair met, Bobby’s mother was jailed. His father resided in another state, so Bobby was forced to live in another home. Fenwick knew he had to give more than the mandated weekly visits.
The brothers began to not only play sports but to open up the lines of communication. He helped Bobby get over his fear of separation and helped him to focus on his dreams. Bobby had pure athletic talent, but not for some years later did Fenwick realize Bobby’s report card didn’t reflect his actual strength in the classroom. As a seventh grader, Bobby was getting “A’s” and “B’s”, yet reading on a second grade level. Fenwick met with his teachers and found and in-school tutor. In addition to that, he petitioned to have Bobby come stay with him and his wife for a summer and begin an intense tutoring program before high school. He and his wife hired a private tutor and had Bobby’s vision checked for dyslexia. By the end of the summer, Bobby’s assessment scores jumped four grade levels in reading and math.
When Bobby’s mother was incarcerated, Fenwick stepped up to the task of being a parent, a Big Brother, mentor and friend. Statistically, Bobby Prince should be a casualty of modern life – being a poor, at-risk, child of a single parent. Yet, Bobby earned a 3.06 GPA in his first semester of high school, and he plans to attend college. When Fenwick married last year, Bobby donned a tuxedo and was a groomsmen. Bobby has matured from six to 16, owns a car, and now mentors his younger cousin as Jason Fenwick did for him.