Big Brothers Big Sisters

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Reconnecting with Daniel Li

December 20, 2017, Suzy Piper

Written by Career Coordinator, Matt Roen

Daniel Li was matched in 2006, and had a Big Brother for three years. Even though his match officially closed when his Big moved away, Daniel (then a high-schooler) continued to attend BBBS events with his mom – an opportunity available to all former Littles!

Daniel attended EXPLORE career nights, and career fairs with Career Coordinator Matt Roen. In Learning Dreams, with Teen Health Coordinator Maypahou, Daniel was able to practice and pursue a longtime hobby of his: composing music for piano. When Daniel graduated from High School, he worked closely with College Access Coordinator Mae Kindler, to land at the University of Minnesota. And even after that, Daniel continued to be involved with BBBS, speaking on student panels, and working with College and Career Retention Associate Monica Billy to ensure that his financial aid situation was well managed.

In early November 2017, 11 years after being matched in our program, Matt, Maypahou, and Mae encountered Daniel at a talk being given at the U of M!  It was awesome to reconnect with this talented young man, and to hear that things are going great at school! Daniel is still pursuing his hobby of composing for and playing piano, and is very involved in the U’s ROTC program, and is a member of the National Guard.

Daniel had these words of wisdom to say, when asked about how things have been:

Knowing what you know now (about life, college, school, etc.) is there anything you would have done differently? – Yes, there are some things I would do differently. Don’t try to make plans with friends, because many of them are still trying to get this scheduling thing down, including yourself. Make use of your school’s resources to the fullest and when thinking about time you need to consider everything like travel time.

Did you feel properly prepared for college life? – I feel like I was well prepared I knew how to live independently and I didn’t have a financial issue like my peers. So I really only needed to focus on my studies and social life.

And lastly, what was the best part of being involved with BBBS? – The best part of being with BBBS is all the interesting events and connections you make with the program.

Thanks so much, Daniel! It’s awesome to see you succeed!