This January marks the 18th Annual National Mentoring Month! We are also proud to announce, January has also been declared Mentoring Month by Governor Ricketts in Nebraska. This month is dedicated to celebrating and elevating the mentoring movement. We reflect on the growth of the mentoring movement, recognize the need to continue to recruit new mentors, and offer opportunities to thank the mentors who have positively impacted our lives. Join us in celebrating mentoring and the positive effects it has on young people by reading Tyler Ujhazy’s mentoring journey through Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Hello my name is Tyler Ujhazy. I moved to Omaha from Anaheim, CA in Sept 2018. I work as a Design Engineer in the Distribution Engineering group here at OPPD but have been in the industry for almost 9 years now. Our group works with the larger customers in the area with new services, system upgrades, etc. Outside of work I enjoy running, traveling, spending time with my wife, Kelsey, and playing with our two cats, Sherlock & Dr. Watson. I’ve known about Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) for quite some time as it is a well-known organization but recently brought to my attention by my cousin who was also looking to become a mentor.
I became a mentor in order to give back to the community because that’s something I’ve always enjoyed doing. By being a mentor, I can help shape the future for a child by being a positive influence through interaction, activity and encouragement with the hope that they’ll become successful in life and maybe even decide to become a mentor themselves someday. The process of becoming a mentor with BBBS was quite easy. After a short introductory session to learn about the program I attended a more detailed session on the rules and requirements for being a Big. Following that was an in-home interview to learn more about me and my interests so I could be matched accordingly with a Little. Then the waiting game began (which didn’t take very long).
Big Brothers Big Sisters did a great job of understanding the characteristics and interest of both me and my Little and matched us accordingly. Ajay and I have been matched since June 9, 2019 and there are definitely a lot of similarities between us. My most memorable experience with him would have to be our first outing together. We went to the Sky Zone Trampoline Park. It was something he loves doing and something I had never done before. I had a great time just interacting and learning more about him. I have to admit all the jumping was exhausting though. The toughest part about being a Big Brother most recently I feel is coordinating outings. It has been more difficult than usual, because of the holidays, family visits and both of us being out of town on separate occasions. But that just means we’ll have even more to catch up on during our next outing!
Since being matched with Ajay, I think I’ve changed by being reminded that some of the things we get frustrated by or upset with as adults don’t even register in the mind of a child. Being around a child is a great reminder to “not sweat the small stuff”, don’t take yourself too seriously and mostly importantly just have fun! It takes a decent effort to balance work, home life and mentoring but when you’re passionate about something you’ll make it happen. If you are someone who is thinking about volunteering, just do it! I feel everyone is capable and should volunteer in some capacity. Being a Big is very rewarding and once you begin you’ll be hooked and never look back.
If you would like to know more about mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters, feel free to ask me or go to their website at www.mentoromaha.org.