27 Kids Who Matter: Dante's journey - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

27 Kids Who Matter: Dante's journey

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County offers kids more than mentors.

The organization also provides scholarships to littles who have proven their dedication to school.

One of those is Dante, who earned four years of college all paid for.

Dante and his big brother Todd have been teaching each other for almost 10 years.

"He taught me how to shave, which was really nice," says Dante.

And Todd started studying karate after he saw Dante earn his black belt.

But when they first met , when Dante was 11 , it took Todd some time to bring Dante out of his shell.

"He started out very reserved, very shy, quiet, kind of blossomed into more of a grown man or adult over the years," says Todd.

In the fall, Dante is starting his sophomore year at Minnesota State University Mankato.

This year, things are different.

Dante earned the Big Brothers Big Sisters Annexstad Scholarship that takes care of tuition and living expenses for the next four years.

"A huge weight off my shoulders. Todd recently got done paying his student loans and my mom is still paying her student loans, so being able to not worry about that, I'm so grateful. I'm really truly lucky for it."

Todd says, "He's such a smart kid. To not go on to do something bigger would have been a waste for him."

Even though Dante is now four-and-a-half hours away, Todd continues to teach him valuable life lessons.

"I told him some of the things that are tough about college, things that you have to grow up and get used to. No one's going to tell you to go to class. You have to do it yourself. You're going to have a credit card,don't spend all your money."

Dante is still trying to pick a major.

"It's going really well. I'm having a great time. Still don't know what I want to do yet, but I'll find it eventually."

 

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