Encore May 2016

Page 12


Bigs in Business

Workplace fosters relationships for youth and adults LISA MACKINDER

Brian Powers



evi Hickman, a 13-year-old student at Milwood Magnet School in Kalamazoo, is hesistant to try out for the school band for next year, but you can’t help notice more than a hint of interest on the eighthgrader’s face when Kyle Croes encourages him to do so. “He’s reading music proficiently, has great range and runs through all of our warm-ups without having to refresh,” says Croes, who gives Hickman weekly trumpet lessons. “He’s got it all down.” That’s because Croes is more than a music instructor to Hickman. 12 | ENCORE MAY 2016

Levi Hickman, left, listens as Big Brother Kyle Croes explains a project he is working on in his job as a supply chain manager at Eaton Corp. Opposite page: Croes gives Hickman weekly trumpet lessons.

Croes is Levi’s Big Brother, and the pair came together in an unusual way: through Croes’ job at Eaton Corp. The two are participants in Bigs in Business, a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kalamazoo program that gives those who don’t have a lot of free time to volunteer the opportunity Brian to bePowers a Big