“There are always ways to grow,” says Sergio Guzman,
Big Brothers Big Sisters’ bilingual match support specialist. It’s a comment
that sums up Sergio’s work philosophy and his focus on creating growth
opportunities for matches.
“You wear a lot of hats in this job,” Sergio explained. “In
addition to assisting and monitoring 85 matches, I coordinate the workplace
mentoring program we have with Rackspace. We work with Webb Middle School and I
maintain a good relationship with the vice principal and counselors there. I
also work on planning activities with our Rackspace contacts and organizing
BBBS’ Brother 2 Brother match activities.”
It’s a lot of responsibility. “I just try to step in and help
whenever I can,” Sergio said.
A University of Texas grad who’s been in Austin for over 10
years, Sergio started as an English major, but after working with a program
called Longhorn Scholars, which reaches out to kids who wouldn’t normally
consider attending college, he realized he had a heart for social work. After
graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work he stayed in Austin and is
now celebrating his five-year anniversary at BBBS.
With a variety of duties and a large case load, one of the
challenges Sergio faces is that of trying to make face-to-face contact with all
of his clients. “I’m a firm believer that support is best delivered in person,”
Sergio said. “When you can put a face to the person you’re talking with on the
phone, that really helps to establish a good relationship. I still get to meet
with families and Bigs; however, it’s not as often as I’d like it to be.”
Sergio clearly has a passion for his work and for BBBS. “The
thing I enjoy most about working here is BBBS’ mission,” Sergio continued.
“During these times when there is a lot of chaos in the world, it’s important
to remember that our kids are the future. Mentoring provides that extra support
that kids need to face the obstacles they have in their everyday lives. I find
comfort in knowing that I am doing work with a purpose, and that my work is
helping to strengthen the community as a whole.”
Sergio has experienced the positive impact of mentors in his own
life. His high school band director pushed him to strive to reach his highest
potential, which resulted in his not only being the first in his family to
leave his hometown of Laredo, but also the first in his family to graduate from
When Sergio is not at work he loves to explore the Austin music
scene. “I have an eclectic taste in music,” he said. “Everything from attending
electronic rock venues to listening to the Austin Symphony Orchestra at the
Long Center.” He also enjoys travel and video games such as The Legend of Zelda
and Super Mario Smash Brothers.
“BBBS is a great place to work. I love our team mentality.
Everyone is supportive of, and helpful toward, one another,” Sergio said. “And,
with the addition of some new staff members, I also have the opportunity to be
a workplace mentor.”
It’s the perfect opportunity for Sergio, who is always looking
for ways to grow and to help others do the same.