Eric &
Lyle

Eric & Lyle

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs to companionship of at least one adult who can share it. Rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

– Rachel Carson, Biologist

For 17-year-old Lyle, his sense of wonder was vanishing. “Lyle’s Dad is mostly out of the picture,” his mother Ida shared. “His older brother moved out years ago, and he lives with me and his sister. His teachers and principal are women and most of his interactions at church are with women. I wanted Lyle to have a male figure to look up to.”

Lyle spent years on the waiting list for a Big Brother. He hoped to find a mentor to share his passion for aircraft, spacecraft, cars, ships and World War II history. A shy, disconnected young man, he continued to further isolate himself. That changed in October 2017 when his Mom received a phone call from Big Brothers Big Sisters sharing, “We found a Big Brother for Lyle!”

Eric, a Navy veteran and welder, became the mentor and friend Lyle needed. “The two of them hit it off immediately,” Ida shared. “I couldn’t keep up with what they were talking about, but it was clear they were a perfect match.”

Lyle’s life has transformed. Lyle always expressed interest in learning to weld, and Eric gave him the encouragement to start taking classes. He even gave him a hands-on demonstration aboard the USS Edson where Eric is a volunteer guide. Their adventures took them to Greenfield Village, the Ford Rouge factory, and the Soo Locks, exploring their common interests in cars, aircraft and ships. Eric helped Lyle become comfortable interacting with strangers and even taught him how to drive—in a Corvette no less.

Eric, a Navy veteran and welder, became the mentor and friend Lyle needed. “The two of them hit it off immediately,” Ida shared. “I couldn’t keep up with what they were talking about, but it was clear they were a perfect match.”

Lyle’s life has transformed. Lyle always expressed interest in learning to weld, and Eric gave him the encouragement to start taking classes. He even gave him a hands-on demonstration aboard the USS Edson where Eric is a volunteer guide. Their adventures took them to Greenfield Village, the Ford Rouge factory, and the Soo Locks, exploring their common interests in cars, aircraft and ships. Eric helped Lyle become comfortable interacting with strangers and even taught him how to drive—in a Corvette no less.

Ida is proud of the changes she’s seen in her son. He recently started his first job, a step he felt confident taking because of Eric’s encouragement. Since Lyle started welding school, he’s learned much about the trade, and looks forward to a welding career. He’s also interested in attending college for aerospace engineering. The pair also attended Lyle’s first men’s breakfast at his church, confidently interacting with people with new-found confidence.

“Eric has been a positive male role model for Lyle,” his mother Ida said. “Big Brothers Big Sisters has given Lyle the opportunity to learn things he wouldn’t learn outside of his family, and offered him new experiences beyond his comfort zone.”

Lyle and Eric look forward to a lifelong friendship. Eric is grateful for helping him gain greater confidence, spark interest in a future career and be that important role model he desperately needed.

Invest in Potential

Help us create more life changing matches like Eric and Lyle’s. When you invest in Big Brothers Big Sisters, you change the lives of at-risk youth in your community. Potential starts with you and your gift.

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eric lyle invest

Invest in Potential

Help us create more life changing matches like Eric and Lyle’s. When you invest in Big Brothers Big Sisters, you change the lives of at-risk youth in your community. Potential starts with you and your gift.

bbbs pattern

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