You may be familiar with the story of Kelly Baker, Match of the Year and her Mentee, Kevin.
Kelly spoke at our Annual match gala in 2016 highlighting the power of their relationship. Watch the video below to catch up;
Over the Weekend of January 14th, Kelly visited Kevin for the first time in over a year and a half! In Kelly’s own words, here is how their reunion went;
I am happy to say the visits went very smoothly- I was able to see Kevin both days, a contact visit (meaning we got to hug and sit with each other instead of talking on the phone with a window between us). He is healthy and in incredibly good spirits, given the circumstances – it was a real trip to see how much he’s grown in the last 1.5 years. He’s taller than me now (which he was quick to point out!!).
I am so proud of how Kevin has adapted to his circumstances. He is using this time to learn about other people’s cultures (there are detainees from all over – Albania, China, Senegal, you name it). He taught me what he’s learned about Islam, about foreign currency, even sign language, as he has a deaf friend at the detention center! The first thing he taught me to sign is “I’m a boss,” which, if you know Kevin… of course he would.
Kevin told me he feels pretty safe and respected at the detention center, which I was so glad to hear. He was able to show me his legal documents and we went over his case together and it seems like he has a very good lawyer.
In the future, Kevin GED upon his release and maybe a career in nonprofits (in his words: “I want to give back to the community”).
The time flew by (about 1.5 hours each day), and it felt too short, but the visits were buoyed by some exciting news: it looks like Kevin might finally get an answer about his potential release. He has court today and his lawyer is cautiously optimistic about his chances. I will keep you all posted, and please keep Kevin in your thoughts in the meantime!
The trip was incredibly emotional, but so worth it. I learned a lot from the experience of visiting an ICE detention center and being in a border town in Texas. I got into a few fascinating conversations with some locals while I was there about Kevin’s case, and hopefully I was able to shift some of their perspectives on immigration.
I can’t fully summarize the range of emotions I experienced over the last few days, but I can say that this was a truly memorable trip for the both of us.
Kelly and Kevin have now been matched for 4 and a half years!