PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Longtime WAVY TV 10 viewers may recall our “Wednesday’s Child” stories about children in need of mentoring. We have an update on a little boy featured in 1995.
10 On Your Side’s Don Roberts caught up with James and his mentor John Curtis, all these years later.
James was in a single-parent family.
Back in 1995, he was featured in a Wednesday’s Child segment at a party sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters in Norfolk. The agency matched adult volunteers with children like 12-year-old James.
He was matched with mentor John Curtis.
“I always wanted a little brother. Never had one. I’m from a family of ten,” John said during an interview in 1995. “He takes me places and I respect him. And he’s a fun person to be with,” said James at the time.
It’s been 25 years since that Christmas party. James is now 37 years old and living in Florida.
“You know how you think you’re gonna come into some little kid’s life and change their life. But really, James, James, he kinda changed mine, changed my life!” said John. “Oh yeah, because you have to do things the right way when you’re around a little kid, you know ha ha.”
James remembers playing basketball. He also remembers a valuable lesson. “I just know that I wasn’t the best kid. Got in a lotta trouble back then. And then, hearing them long speeches about doin’ better, being better… it works!”
John was in the Navy at the time.
James enlisted in the Army after the September 11 attacks. “I went to Kuwait first, then moved to Baghdad for about eight months.”
He spent 12 years of service in the Army. James now has two children. John is retired from the Navy.
The two are lifelong friends.
“I think everyone needs that ‘go to’ person coming up. It’s a rough time to be alone right now and it’s good to have someone in your corner,” James said.
Mentoring agencies make connections like this one possible.
On the Southside:
- The Up Center | Team Up Mentoring
- (757) 397-2121 Ext. 337
On the Peninsula:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Main Office: (757) 369-6824
- Military Families: (757) 392-5155
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