Faces of Tribland: ‘Brothers’ recognized for accountability, companionship

Nervously clutching a lunch box and shuffling his feet, then-second-grader Stephen Quinones was visibly anxious.

His new ‘big bother,’ a 6-foot college sophomore, loomed over him with an enthusiastic grin upon their first meeting at Longfellow Elementary.

Sam Gentry was equally nervous that day, he says. He had been given a list of talking points to help get the conversation flowing with his new ‘little brother.’ It was “kind of like a first date!” he remembers.

So, seated in an elementary-sized chair, eye-to-eye with his match, he began a series of icebreakers. Among them, Sam asked Stephen how many siblings he had.

“He told me he had three brothers,” Gentry remembers. “He said, ‘I have a big brother, a little brother, and then I have you.”

“That was our first meeting. That day still sticks out to me the most.”

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