Pierce Bush is the grandson of President George H.W. Bush and the nephew of President George W. Bush, and even though he grew up surrounded by a modern-day political dynasty, he followed a path away from politics. He started his career with a local financial firm and is the executive vice president of Big Brothers – Big Sisters Houston.
“You know, I’ve been so blessed to grow up across the street from a man who’s my hero. And a man who’s served this country in so many way,” he said.
But ever since graduating college, he carried on another Bush family legacy, one of service to the community. He volunteered as a “Big Brother.”
“I’ll never forget walking into this building in 2009 and meeting this young kid, this kid named Jalyn, for the first time. And I walked in and there was this immediate sense that my life would never be the same, and it would be a richer life,” he said.
Their bond has grown over the years, and so has Bush’s commitment to the organization. In 2012, he joined the board and eventually traded in his high profile corporate job to work at the organization full time.
“For me, it seemed to fit with what I was really enjoying doing as a volunteer. It’s so rare to have a job, I think, where you go every day. You wake up and you feel this incredible sense of meaning and purpose,” he said.
In his role, Bush helps raise money, recruit volunteers and tell the story of BBBS to the Houston community.
“I wake up every day and say ‘How are we going to get more volunteers, how are we going to get the financial resources to support it?’” he said. “It’s a very efficient model when it comes down to it. For about $1,000, we can create one of these matches that will change a life forever, you know, and to me that’s an investment worth making.”
The organization needs a new building. Plans are in the works to build one just outside of downtown. It’s a big project and Bush is bringing together architects, attorneys and engineers who are doing the work pro-bono. And all of it comes back to the children.
“Honestly, we need volunteers. Always our waiting list is just over 700 kids. About 90 percent of that is boys. We need men to step up and answer the call,” Bush said.
And few people know the impact this organization has on children more than Bush. Five years after meeting his “Little Brother Jalyn,” their connection is forged for life.
“I can’t wait for the day that my kids can meet their Uncle Jalyn. I mean, it’s going to be awesome. We are awesome. We will be in each other’s weddings,” he said.
Bush says he would love to see more volunteers share in the experiences that have changed his life. There’s a big need for men, particularly Latino and African American, to serve as Big Brothers.