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August 01, 2022

Big Brother Brandon Webber Recognized for Mentorship

After more than eight years working with his 'little,' the Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) of Oklahoma recently presented one of AEP's own with a prestigious honor. Brandon Webber, manager, station system services (TFS Station, Energy Delivery) was awarded the 2022 Matt Burtelow Award. Each year one outstanding volunteer is selected. 

Webber began working with his 'little,' Ty’Wjuan (Nunu) Campbell, when he was 10-years-old. He and Webber were the longest-running active pair when Campbell turned 18 and graduated high school. Campbell received an athletic scholarship to play football at the University of Tulsa.

Webber said he looks forward to going to cheer his 'little' on. "Nunu isn't so little anymore, but he will always be a part of the family," said Webber.

Webber lives in Tulsa with his wife of three years and their nine-month-old son. Their new son was born just before Webber's official, eight-year relationship with BBBS came to an end. The timing was clearly special, and not lost on Webber, Campbell or their families. 

"To be honest, we've been calling it the 'circle of life.' It has been really amazing with the timing of everything, and I'm just so grateful to give back and be a part of this moment," said Webber.

"Nunu is already like an uncle to our son, and all of us keep in touch with his mother. It's like one big extended family from spending time together over the years," said Webber. 

Both growing up in a single-parent household, Webber and his 'little' talked on Father's Day. They plan to stay in touch moving forward, even if it is not officially sanctioned by the BBBS.

His 'little,' now old enough to be a 'big,' recently expressed to Webber and his family that he wants to be a 'big' in the program, just like Webber was for him.

"I strive to set a good example of leadership in my every day actions and behaviors," said Webber. "This award was a great honor, but seeing him want to give back is my biggest reward," said Webber. "My passion has always been paying it forward, and to see that this matters to him feels amazing.Many people say they don't have the time, but one phone call or meet-up for three or four hours a week can really make a difference in someone's life."

Webber shared that his passion for helping people is what first led him to join the BBBS program when he was in college at University of Arkansas (Fayetteville). There on a full academic scholarship for electrical engineering, Webber tried out being a 'Big for a Day' after hearing about the program at his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. This was just the first of many experiences Webber would have with BBBS.

In 2013, when Webber moved to Tulsa to start his career with AEP, he found BBBS at his local church recruiting for Bigs. On March 10, 2014, Webber officially started as a 'big.'

That first day turned into eight years pretty quickly. "I thought I'd just be a mentor for a year, but after trying it, I thought, 'I can do this,'" said Webber. He has been in the role ever since, and joined the Board four years ago to help recruit more 'bigs' like him to give the experience back to 'littles' out there who need the support. 

Webber's AEP career began in the Co-Op and Internship program in 2011 (Tulsa, Tech Services) with a rotation in 2012 (Gahanna, Station Engineering). 

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