MINNEAPOLIS -- Each year, KARE 11 honors 11 outstanding members of our community with the 11 Who Care awards and one of those awards goes to Ben Christenson.
26 year old Ben is involved in the Big Brother Big Sister program. He is the Big Brother to Arthur and came into the pre-teen's life four years ago.
"So, at first, I kind of wanted a black older brother to show me, 'cause I'm half black, half white, but Ben's really been a really good influence on my life, so, I'm glad that he's here", explains Arthur.
Arthur was smart enough at 12 to know that he needed an adult male guiding hand. The two do all kinds of things together...from playing cribbage to shooting hoops.
"I wasn't getting into trouble, but I'm pretty sure, if Ben hadn't come along, I'd end up like a friend of mine and he's gotten into the cigarettes and weed and stuff like that."
Ben has also showed Arthur how to fill out a resume and other brotherly things like getting him fired up about learning in school.
Arthur admits he wants to go to college but his GPA isn't what it should be so he and Ben are working on his academics.
Being a Big Brother also helps Ben.
"I've since come to find out that I've gotten more out of the program than I think I've actually put into it with Arthur and so that's been quite an experience," Ben says.
In fact, Ben found more than Arthur through the program, he's actually getting married and he's marrying a Big Sister.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)