International Big Brother match valuable to both cultures


Posted on February 27, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 1:22 PM

By Gary Roedemeier

Nothing can be more difficult for a child than moving to a new city, unless you're also talking about moving to a new country.

This week's Big Brother is mentoring a child, who came to America after spending most of his life in Liberia.

The story of this international match is inspiring

14-year-old Lloyd Tubman had a working knowledge of English before he moved to Louisville, but he was still a lonely teenager, who really had no male influences in his life.

And then 6-months ago, he found 55-year-old Rudy Jones, a veteran parent and mentor.

When we stopped by to talk to them, their match was off and running at the YMCA on Six Mile Lane. They both love athletics, but Rudy loves running, Lloyd likes soccer and the weight room.

They've been matched for 6-months and Lloyd has been in America just 2 years; so the little brother is still getting accustomed to a new land.

Jones said, "I've enjoyed the assimilation process, with not just Lloyd but his entire family."

The process has worked both ways, with Rudy getting to know the culture and customs of Liberia, and in return, he can be a true American mentor

Lloyd said, "He's a role model for my future. You know, he's a good person, and stuff like that. I just adopt his ways and stuff like that and to be a better person."

He is adopting his ways and getting involved in American life; so one middle school should be getting a good soccer player.

I'm going to join our soccer league at Ramsey Middle School this year," added Lloyd.

And his Big Brother says he will be watching.

Rudy said, "And he's very teachable and I think my support for him is primarily around the area of academics. I want him to develop a discipline that around his school studies that's gonna help him not only in middle school but in high school as well."

And Rudy wants to attend that high school graduation.

"So, I'm looking at this for the long-term. All the way into manhood is something that I'm looking forward to, so I don't see this as a temporary match," he added.

It's a permanent commitment to see a teenager mature into a young man.

If you'd like to volunteer as a big brother or big sister, you can become a mentor by calling 1-877-588-2300.