DANVILLE — When Graham Peck graduated from Franklin University, he knew there were two things he wanted to do.
First, start his own business and second, volunteer in the community. Today he is president and chief executive officer of Marketech, a marketing and advertising business he started in 2008.
While contemplating how and where he would volunteer, he talked to long-time friend Mike Hulvey.
“Mike told me if you want to make a difference in a child’s life, Big Brothers Big Sisters is definitely the program. I was sold.”
In October 2010, Peck was matched with 8-year-old Steven. Peck said it took a few meetings before they got used to each other but, now they talk constantly and spend a lot of time together.
Both Steven and Peck admit there have been some challenges along the way.
“I was getting in a lot of trouble in school” Steven said. But, all that has gone away partly due to Peck and his new school and teacher.
“I go to Danville Lutheran School now and my teacher is Ms. Mull,” Steven said. “She is a good teacher.”
In the last nine months, he has improved in every subject and gets A’s and B’s.
“Graham talks to me a lot about school and keeping up,” Steven said. “That helps me stay focused.”
Peck said he has learned it is important to be there for Steven, no matter what.
“I have to show Steven it is important to be consistent in everything you do,” he said. “I do that by modeling this behavior for him and listening to him.”
Steven said, “I look forward to seeing Graham. He trains me in sports like basketball and helps me collect Pokeman cards. One thing we always do is go out to eat.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermilion County was established in 1971 by concerned Vermilion County residents. Those residents saw a gap in services for children from single-parent homes who needed one-to-one support and encouragement. They contacted Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and started an affiliation.