I grew up without a father my entire life. I hardly know anything about my father except for the very few and limited photos I have seen of him. My grandma used to tell me stories about him and my mother before I came into the picture. In-fact my father never wanted a child at that point but my mother did. I don’t take it to heart when I think about it but I have occasionally filled my mind with fascinations of how my life could have been with a true father figure around.
Although I never had a father figure as I grew up and turned into the man I am today, there was one major influential role-model who did fill that void in my life, my lovely uncle Boris. Since I can remember, he was always there for me the way a father-figure would be. He opened my eyes to many scenes around the state of Massachusetts and the New England region when we went on awesome camping trips. He taught me the sense of navigation around the city of Boston at a very young age which has developed into a bigger sense of awareness no matter where I go to now. However more importantly, he showed me through his life what an honest hardworking man can accomplish despite any given situation.
I have always looked up to him. When I visit him and the rest of my Burdetsky family down in Georgia, I get inspired and feel at home. He has a lovely wife and 2 lively cousins who remind me of myself at their respective ages. I see a lot of my personal qualities coming from him too – such as his very funny comedic style that rubbed off on me. So although I have never had a father around me growing up, my uncle did a great job filling the gap as a role-model. I cannot truly thank him enough for all that he has done for me. However I can keep the light burning by making sure I not only become a great father later down the road in my life, but also a great role-model to my cousins, friends, and anyone else in between.
I have had the privilege of being a Sports Counselor for one summer and an Adventure Plus counselor for another at the YMCA. Those 2 summers greatly helped shape my passion and love for working with children and to being a better person as well as a true role model for children of a wide range of ages. The take home message here is that no matter what you are doing at any given time, do it with heart and do it knowing that you can set an example or building block for many others. I have a huge list of mentors, a close circle of good friends, a small family, and a wide network of acquaintances and friends. What that brings to me is an endless amount of role-models and possible positive influences in my life. All-in-all, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the true acknowledgment of how my uncle helped me in-turn strive to find the right path to become the man that I am today. My hat goes off to him and the rest of his lovely family for their always amazing hospitality and for the fact that we are family!