Passing Along Knowledge to Help Others Succeed

Meet Big Brother James Montague as he shares how he helps his Little Brother, Isaiah, succeed in his goals.

Big Brother James Montegue
Big Brother James Montague

What was one of your main reasons for becoming a Big?
In college, I was the president of my fraternity. I started to define what success meant for me and put some thought behind that idea. Then, I realized that I really liked helping others in the house grow and find their own success. As I moved into a professional role and began leading teams at work, I realized this is one of my strengths. I like to help others find success and I wanted to help a Little in this same way.

Your Little is 15, how are you helping him find success?
You know, my Little is a great kid. He is smart, driven and competitive. He is very good at finding his own success. I’m just helping him stay on course and manage the bumps.

What has been an example of a bump?
We went to a driving range just last week. He’s never been, never experienced swinging a golf club – any of that. It was very hard for him and yet, I wouldn’t let him just quit. It became a lesson in perseverance and learning to push through situations even when they get tough. I know he may not be a golfer for his entire life, but we came here to try it out and I told him we were going to finish the bucket of balls.

And did he get the hang of it?
Yes, a handful of balls in, he hit a stellar shot and got really excited. That’s the curse of golf though, ten bad hits for every one good hit. We finished the bucket and moved on.

What’s an example of how you’re helping him stay on course?
We’re always working on setting and completing little goals. I help him stay on course by keeping the goals reasonable.

Little Brother Isaiah Thomas
Little Brother Isaiah

What’s a current goal and how did you keep it reasonable?
He wanted to get a 3.75 GPA this semester and we talked about what that means to achieve a high GPA. I asked him things like, “What does each class grade need to be to get to that goal?” He realized that he needed to get an A- in each class and suddenly the goal became very real. I could see the wheels turning in his head as he questioned if he could really get a 3.75. He decided to adjust his goal to a 3.5 GPA this semester.

How about looking ahead, where do you plan to help him find success with his future?
He recently learned he got into Ben Davis University. He was intent on filling out the application and turning it in before the deadline. He was very driven throughout the entire process. Now that he’s been accepted, I’ve been working with him to determine goals for his future.

Where did he land?
Well, right now, he has chosen to focus on medical sciences. I told him even if he doesn’t like it he can try something different in college and when exploring career options, so I think this is a good place for him to start.

So how good are you with medical sciences? Are you going to be helpful for homework?
Ha, that’s why I have friends who are pharmacists!

What’s going to be hard for him?
Math. And we’ll work through it just like the other bumps.




Raquel RichardsonAs Chief Marketing Officer for Apparatus, Raquel leads the company’s marketing strategy and initiatives. Prior to joining Apparatus, Raquel spent 13 years running Silver Square, a full-service marketing firm she founded. Raquel serves on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana and the Metropolitan Indianapolis Public Broadcasting Board.

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