by Olivia Stipe, Student Public Relations Writer
A year ago, during homecoming weekend, Carson Levenson sat down outside the Cedarville bookstore to avoid the crowd. Little did he know sitting at that table would change his life and his family’s lives for the better.
Carson and his brother, Gable, are both junior cyber operations majors originally from Portsmouth, Rhode Island. When the pandemic hit, their family suffered financially, losing a family business at the same time their father needed a major operation.
The chaotic events forced the entire family to change their plans. The boys took a gap year from college to work with their parents at Amazon. Eventually the whole family moved from Rhode Island to Ohio, and the boys were able to start attending Cedarville while living at home.
Soon after Carson sat down at a table in the university’s campus store, he was joined by alumnus Ty Bryant. Ty and Carson struck up a conversation and immediately connected. After that day, Ty and his wife met the entire Levenson family and talked for hours, knowing something special had happened.
Ty and his wife, Pat, decided to “adopt” the boys and mentor them while they studied at Cedarville -- and beyond. They wanted to use their personal and professional connections to help provide Carson and Gable with the help they needed to move toward a successful career.
“Since we’re new to the area and don’t have any previous connections, it's so helpful to have someone speak well on our behalf,” said Gable. “Having someone like Ty being willing to work with us and provide opportunities is reassuring.”
Ty’s vote of confidence in the boys has helped them continue pursuing their degrees.
“He reminds me that I’m needed in this field. He sees something valuable in me for success, even when I wasn’t sure I could be one of those people,” said Gable. Ty’s career experience makes his support more reassuring to the whole family.
But for Ty and Pat, their connection to the family is much more than a mentor.
“It goes much deeper than that,” explained Ty. It’s much more genuine than just an alumnus giving back; we enjoy their company. We spend time together.”
Similarly, Cynthia Levenson, Carson and Gable’s mom, believes the Bryants are special.
“I have never met anyone who gives like the Bryants,” said Cynthia. “All this couple thinks about is giving back. They are the closest thing we have ever had to family. We feel blessed.” Cynthia calls Ty at least once a week, and the families celebrate holidays and birthdays together. “We enjoy each other’s company,” said Gable. “We haven’t known them for that long, but he treats us like sons.”
Ty’s impact on the Levenson family is not about drawing attention to himself or what he can gain. It’s not even about sharing opportunities, although he is quick to pay forward his success. It's about a genuine connection that was made because of his willingness and generosity. Thanks to Ty and Pat Bryant, the Levensons have family in Ohio.