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The 2019 Big of the Year is Curtis Assenmacher. Curtis was matched with Terry in February 2010, when Terry was 11 years old. They both lived in DeWitt at the time. Terry lived with his adoptive mom and siblings, having moved from Chicago to Clinton to DeWitt. Curtis is a native of DeWitt and was only 24 years old when he became a mentor in the program. Curtis is a project manager at Determann Asphalt.
Curtis says his first impression of Terry was that he was a good kid with lots of spunk and energy! Terry was very active and had lots of questions. Curtis and Terry enjoyed doing many things together over the 7 years they were matched. They did the usual "guy' things - went out to eat, changed oil in vehicles, went fishing, went to movies, went to the races, grilled out, did school projects, and homework. They even went to Adventureland a few times. But Curtis also helped Terry with some very important life skills. Terry was able to get his driving permit and then his driver's license, with a lot of help and guidance from Curtis. Curtis even helped Terry study for and pass his testing to enter into the military. Terry has decided not to pursue this path, but now knows he has that option.
Curtis says he is most proud of Terry for graduating from Central DeWitt High School in 2018 and getting his driver's license. Terry had a very successful track career at Central, setting several school records, and Curtis was there to cheer him on at many track meets. Curtis says it has been very rewarding seeing Terry grow over the years, become more confident and gain more "people" skills. Curtis noted that Terry became a leader on the track team as well. Terry now lives in Wisconsin with his mom, but him and Curtis keep in touch regularly.
When asked what he has gained from being a mentor, Curtis said that it is so rewarding to help someone achieve something they never thought they could do. Curtis attributes the success of the match to involvement of his friends and family as well. They were all involved with Terry and encouraged him in his accomplishments. Curtis plans to continue in the program and be matched with another child from DeWitt in the near future.