Davie boys on waiting list for Big Brother

Published 9:27 am Thursday, July 20, 2017

By Shawan Gabriel

Special to the Enterprise

I recently watched an ESPN “30 for 30” documentary on Randy Moss, detailing his early years growing up in West Virginia. Through all the success, broken records, controversy and press, his core remains in the very small, very tight-knit community of Rand, W.Va.

Moss has kept the same friends, values, habits and core code through time, and in the footage it’s as if he never left home. But what that really shows is that his home, his community, never left him.

It wasn’t just the records, Super Bowl dreams and love of the game that drove him. He was also playing for his community, the people who invested in his future through fellowship and time spent. These are the people with whom he shares common values, the people he has always depended on.

This is his community.

Though most will never play professional sports, all have been impacted by their communities. Your home, your job, your neighborhood and your friends are all separate communities in your life. We don’t always have control over the communities we are a part of, but we always have control over how we impact them. Usually, our impact is determined by nothing more than a choice to make one.

Last week I shared a story about the magic of mentoring and how just one hour a week changes children’s lives for the better, forever. This week, I’d like to share a story from right here in Davie County.

David (name has been changed to protect privacy) was a 10 year old living in a single-parent home in the Cooleemee community. His mother was unemployed, and when she did work, she was in and out of jobs.

David had just lost the only male role model in his life to cancer. As a result of this instability and loss, he was failing in school, not involved in any extra-curricular activities and unable to make friends. His mother was worried. He had great difficulty controlling his anger, especially toward her. She took him to emotional therapy, but that wasn’t enough. She was losing him.

In April of 2014, Darius was matched with Big Brother James, a local pastor (name changed to protect privacy).

After spending several weeks getting to know David, James realized their time together needed to be more than just hanging out and having fun.

So, Jason began to focus their time together on school work. James also saw the need to help David’s mother get her life together. He and David began to work hard on school work, and he and David’s mother began working on a plan to help her find permanent employment.

James’s goal was to give David a positive adult role model who demonstrated grace, compassion, hard work and kindness. While he encouraged Darius to get involved in extracurricular activities, he explained that doing your best with your school work is most important.

Soon, David’s grades began to improve, and his interest in being successful at school grew. With this extra attention, David moved from a D student in elementary school, to an A and B student in middle school. James has also taught David the importance of respecting adults, especially his mother.

Today, the bond between David and James is unbreakable, and Jason has promised to ensure that Darius graduates from high school, while making the best decisions along the way.

Houston lives with his mother and wants a Big Brother so he can have someone to have fun with. He is good at playing video games and basketball, and he wants to work on jumping and playing with his remote car. He would like to be a cop when he grows up.

Nick wants to be a cop or firefighter when he grows up. He enjoys playing football, riding his bike, playing soccer and going outdoors. Nick is flexible and probably would enjoy doing about anything.

Volunteer today at bbbsnc.org/davie or call 336-751-9906.