BBBS match now a part of family

Published 3:25 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Jason and Darius were matched through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Davie in April of 2014.

At the time, Darius was 12 years old residing in a single parent home from Cooleemee who was not involved in any extracurricular activities, rarely spent time outside of school with peers, and recently lost a loved one to cancer.

“Adolescent years are a period of increased risk for youths’ engagement in antisocial behaviors, substance use and affiliation with deviant peers,” said Jenna Hendricks, director of the Davie program. “Darius needed support and guidance from a caring adult during this critical time. Big Brothers Big Sisters was able to match Darius with Jason Whitaker at just the right time.”

Jason and Darius’ match started out much like any other. The two enjoyed going to dinner and getting to know one another. Darius and Jason like to go fishing, grab Mexican food, go to the movies and play football.

Soon after Jason started working with Darius he realized that he wanted his time mentoring this young man to be more than going and doing activities. Jason began meeting with Darius once a week after school. Jason’s focus was to improve Darius’ academics. For the first time, Darius made A/B honor roll. Darius went from a “D” student in elementary school to an A/B student in middle school.

Jason was not only an academic advocate for Darius; Jason was part of Darius’ family.

“This match has grown into a relationship that can’t be broken,” Hendricks said.  “Darius now comes over after school, works on homework and helps cook Jason and his family dinner. Darius loves reading and loving on the Whitaker’s new born baby.”

Jason is included in his little brother’s academic decisions and is a confidant for Darius and his mother.

“My goal with Darius is to form a loving and caring relationship with him,” he said. “I want him to know compassion, grace, and love. I am going to devote the next six years or so to having this young man graduate high school and make the right decisions along the way.”

For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters, or to schedule a presentation for a church, organization or other group, contact Hendricks at 751-9906 or