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From Mentee to Colleague: Champions Graduate Finds Success with Past Mentor

Tyler Knight, a graduate of Champions For Learning’s Take Stock in Children Program, knows first-hand what it feels like to chase after a dream. He decided at a young age that when he grew up, he wanted to be a CEO, but lacked the direction on how to achieve his dream job. Tyler’s mother, who was a single parent supporting two children, had immigrated to the United States from Peru to escape terrorism, and worked hard to provide for her family. Because she had been unable to attend college herself, she was unable to help her son navigate post-secondary options.

When Tyler discovered our Take Stock in Children Program, he was hopeful to not only earn a scholarship but to learn how to achieve success after high school. Through the program, many new opportunities were offered to him, including college visits and tours, presentations regarding personal finance and effective communication, and hands-on workshops to develop skills in goal setting and resume writing. Most important to Tyler, however, was being paired with his incredible mentor, Bill Beynon, who would become an influential figure in Tyler’s life.

“Bill believed in me more than I had ever believed in myself,” said Tyler. “He never let off the gas for me. But mostly, Bill taught me what it meant to be a good human being by being a good person himself.”

With resources available through Champions For Learning and Bill’s unwavering guidance, Tyler confidently enrolled at the University of West Viriginia, where he studied business and graduated in 2021 completely debt-free. He credits the Take Stock in Children Program as the reason he was able to pursue new experiences and thrive as a first-generation college student. Even after earning his degree, Tyler’s involvement with Champions For Learning continued to help shape his future path towards achieving his dreams. He accepted a position with Capital Wealth Advisors, the firm where Bill Beynon works. As colleagues, they work seamlessly together, and Tyler is still learning new things from his former program mentor.

“The kid who told his future mentor he wanted to be a CEO – not knowing Bill was the CEO of his own firm,” Tyler reflected, “and now, ten years later, I’m working with Bill as his right-hand man…who could have imagined that?”

Being involved with Champions For Learning also instilled the importance of giving back to the community within Tyler. He currently serves on the board for Kiwanis and on the same Champions selection committee that Bill served on a decade ago, the same one that accepted Tyler as a Take Stock in Children student. Now, Tyler helps select the next generation of students with big hopes and dreams who are seeking a brighter future in the program.

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