National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Podcast Update: 'Brothers' Still Going Strong

Mentee Darius and mentor Moses attend a football game

In mid-2008, NCFY spoke to 13 year-old Darius and his adult mentor Moses for a podcast called “Brothers For Life.” Matched by Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area four years earlier, the pair were already close. Moses had opened a bank account for Darius to teach him how to save money. They’d begun talking about Darius' plan to join the Air Force or Marines after high school. And they hoped to take a trip to Germany someday, so Darius could see where Moses grew up in a military family.

NCFY caught up with Moses recently to see how he and Darius were faring.

Darius hadn’t yet started high school when we interviewed him. Now, he’s doing well in the 10th grade and is set on going to college, perhaps even to Florida State University, Moses’ alma mater. "We're working on getting his grades up to where they need to be," says Moses, "and we talk about the importance of school, of making good life decisions. And I make it to all his home football games."

Nearly three years ago, Moses told us of his mentee, “When he’s 20 or 40, I hope to still be in contact with him, hopefully giving him advice and helping him out if he needs anything.” Today, he says they're closer than ever. "In many ways, he's still like he was when he was nine years old. But as he gets older, we’ve expanded our conversations to include history and broader topics," says Moses. "We go to museums, we attended Obama’s inauguration together." And they mourned together last year when Darius's mother passed away.

Though Moses will soon be relocating to another part of the country, the two intend to stay close and see each other whenever Moses returns to DC, where his fiancé lives. He reflects, "When he was younger, it was a lot of me telling him about my life. It was more of a father-son thing. But now it's a real conversation. Now it's like we're friends."

Darius’s experience with BBBS has been so positive that his little sister recently joined the program and started meeting with her own mentor.