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Big Brother & Big Sister Success Stories

JACKIE AND CODY:  A SUCCESS STORY

“I would admonish ANY African-American male to reach out, think outside the box.  It is easy to sit and criticize our children (does not need to be biological, all kids are our children) but we need to step up.  Advocate to be active in a young man’s life” – Jackie Jackson, Big Brother

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Jackie Jackson, 62 and Cody, 12, have been matched for a little over a year.  Not only is Jackie a Big Brother, he is also a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana.

Cody excitedly stated “I feel like I have a man in my life.  I spend so much time with my momma that I feel like I have a father in my life. Jackie will take me even when I don’t feel I deserve it”.

When explaining their first activity together, Cody stated that Jackie took him to Cici’s Pizza and they talked.  They got to know each other.  Cody said after talking he felt very comfortable with Jackie. Since that first outing they have been to Baton Rouge for a Mardi Gras parade, fishing, Quizno’s, bowling, putt-putt and movies but most of all they have just “hung out together”.

“He really wants to spend time with me” said Cody. Jackie and Cody see each other five or more times per month and spend approximately 30 hours together.

Jackie’s mentoring has helped Cody with his academics and home environment.  Cody now helps more at home because Jackie always tells him to do right by his mother. The relationship is so strong that there have been times when Cody has asked his mother not to tell Jackie something because he did not want to disappoint Jackie.

“He’s a good guy.  I would like to stay with him until I am Jackie’s age.  I know he will never leave me” Cody stated with a huge smile.

“Cody makes me feel like I am making a difference in someone’s life.  I want to set an example for him to follow, to be that role model”, announced Jackie. “Whenever this journey ends, I hope he will reach back and remember some of the things I have told him.  Many things may not apply right now but hoping at some point he will be able to apply the lessons.”

Jackie described his relationship with Cody as wanting to show him that he can set his standards and sights higher.  He wants to expose Cody to the finer things of life so Cody will aspire to achieve more.  He wants Cody to know that he can achieve many things with hard work and attitude instead of the ways of others through unlawful activities.  Spending time with Cody is “very rewarding” stated Jackie.

Jackie explained that Cody is not just his Little Brother, he has become a member of his family.  Jackie’s adult children frequently ask about Cody and include him in family get togethers.

Jackie spoke openly about black males traditionally being absent from children’s lives.  He is a believer in breaking that cycle.  He does not feel it needs to be the norm any longer.  Programs such as BBBS cannot be successful if black males are not participating. 

The bottom line is that we need to teach these young kids responsibility.  Become involved, be a mentor.  “It doesn’t take a lot of time but how much is too much?  Mentoring is an effort worth doing.  Black males must participate.”

 
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