2023 Texas Big Brother of the Year - Matt Herbst
Matt Herbst has been a dedicated and committed Big Brother to his Little Brother Mylan for over five years. Mylan, who has been raised by his grandmother, was diagnosed with autism and has been seeing a speech therapist since he was very young. Mylan expresses a lot of worries about the world and is very caring about everyone he meets, and Matt tries to help Mylan stay positive and to see that things can get better. Matt said he’s helped Mylan see that yesterday is behind them and tomorrow is what they can look forward to. Matt is looking forward to Mylan finishing up his senior year in high school and graduating May 2023. They plan to enter BBBS’ PSSP program.
Match Support Specialist Greg Hodges was recently assigned to the Match, but right away he could see that Matt has been a reliable positive role model for a Little Brother who came with some developmental challenges. Greg said that what made Matt immediately stand out to him as Big Brother of the Year is that he could see that Matt continues to meet consistently with Mylan and encourages Mylan’s ambitions in overcoming any challenges. Greg noted that Matt has helped prepare Mylan for graduation and encouraged him to think about future goals. Matt has bought into helping Mylan see he can have a bright future after high school. Matt plans on enrolling in the Post-Secondary Success Program with Mylan and has let Mylan and Sparkle know that he will always be Mylan’s Big Brother.
Matt has spoken about his match with Mylan at Houston’s Big Picture Luncheon and has been the Point of Light at one of their regional Board meetings. He is open to and looks forward to speaking on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters and increasing awareness about the program in the future. Matt provides a unique perspective on being a Big Brother to a special needs child, and he actively encourages others to become mentors.