Finalist: DAVID BENNING
“I’m interested in giving kids equal opportunity,” said David Benning, an adviser with Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. in Minneapolis.
“Kids don’t get a lot of choices in the hands they’re dealt, whether it’s parents, education or resources,” he said.
Mr. Benning was inspired to become a Big Brother six years ago at 27, when he signed on with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities.
“I had a moment of clarity — I realized I wasn’t living my values. I’ve had a lot of advantages in my life, so I feel it’s important to give back,” he said.
Mr. Benning has a close relationship with his Little Brother.
“A lot of what you give … is presence — that takes the pressure off to come up with a big plan. I just incorporate him into my life. We go grocery shopping, do yardwork, etc. I try to be consistent and talk to him on a regular basis. It’s important he knows I’m there,” Mr. Benning said.
“Mentoring is the easiest volunteer work in the world. It’s not as big a time commitment as people think. Giving a kid even an hour a week could change the course of his life.”