Day 82 - Kevin (4th person I approached)
March 23, 2014 - Kevin was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He grew up in Brampton, a small suburban city within the Greater Toronto area. He attended one elementary school and one high school.
"I still have friends that I've known all my life. One of my friends who lives in Toronto is expecting his first child. It's so amazing. We used to play t-ball together when we were five and now he's going to be a parent!" Kevin says.
After high-school Kevin took a two year college program to enhance his grades.
"I had a bit of a tough time in high school and my marks weren't where I needed them to be, so I went to college to upgrade. After college, I went to the University of Guelph, taking a four year justice studies program. It was a unique set up because the university and Humber College combined there methodology and so the program was very hands-on and not purely academic. Most people would take justice studies to either be a police officer or to go onto law school. We learned how to actually hand-cuff someone, as well as the implications behind restraint," Kevin told me.
Kevin's parents divorced when he was younger and his father lives in London, England. His Dad networked an opportunity for Kevin which took him out of University, and he moved to London, England.
"I got a job working for a marketing company, working on social media campaigns. It was completely different from what I was learning in university, but an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. The first week I was there, my step-mother organized a dinner party, and that's where I met my girlfriend," said Kevin.
I asked if it was a set-up, or just the universe unfolding in his favour. Kevin told me,
"I think it was a bit of both. The people who were at the dinner all moved seats and yet my girlfriend and I were sat directly across from one another from the start. I think it was a plan." Kevin stayed in England for 18 months.
"Before coming back to Canada, my girlfriend applied for a working visa to come back with me. Once she had that, we moved to Toronto so I could complete my university program." While Kevin was finishing his final term and exams at school, his girlfriend got a job working with a major clothing company, and she relocated to Vancouver.
"We were apart for about two months before I was able to join her here in Vancouver," he said.
Kevin now works freelance here in Vancouver, designing advertising and social media campaigns.
"I do some stuff with the company that I worked for in England, but most of my work is freelance, for my own company. I know it's not related to my degree, but having completed university, combined with traveling and living in England has really been a great life experience. Living in England really opened my eyes and shifted my perspective on life. I'm actually going to Toronto for a vacation to see family and friends later this spring, and I'm looking forward to seeing them, but I do love living here in Vancouver."
When Kevin and I were talking about his childhood, he mentioned his younger sister, and I asked him if he had any other siblings. Kevin told me,
"Yeah, I have an older brother. My Father was involved with the Big Brothers Association when I was growing up. He would volunteer his time, and became a Big Brother to a young man who was being raised my his mother, who was a single parent. When this boy was about 14 years old, his mother passed away. My father made arrangements with the boy's family and Big Brothers, and he came and lived with us for a few years. I don't see him as often now because he lives in the States (USA), in Texas. He's definitely a part of our family. He has two children of his own now, and I am their Uncle, and they are my nephews. He is my big brother." #notastranger