Have you seen ‘Wednesday’s Child?’ We’re on the lookout for 3 from Newport News

Local News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Longtime viewers of WAVY-TV 10 may recall our Wednesday’s Child features.

Since 1981, we’ve been spotlighting children in need of caring adults to mentor or adopt. Today, we test your memory of three boys featured during the winter of 2000.

First, there’s 9-year-old Jordan, and his brother Jamal, who was 7 years old. We met at the Newport News school that both attended during the winter of 2000.

“Jordan was scared to go on the water ride,” Jamal laughed as he “called out” his older brother. Jordan, of course, denied it.

Back and forth, that’s how it was between the two during my whole visit.

“Soon they came to a spooky old house,” Jordan flawlessly demonstrating his enjoyment of
reading. But, with Jamal, “reading is easy … sometimes.”

Jordan and Jamal, and their other siblings did not have a father figure in the home. Mom enrolled
the two boys in the Peninsula Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program. Back in 2000, BBBS asked men to volunteer to spend 4 hours a week with a child, hanging out, having fun, and mentoring.

During that same winter, I met another Newport News boy looking for a mentor. Damian was 8 years old, and very impressive. As we sat at a table in the library showing off our artistic skills, Damian described, for my photographer recording the activities.

“I’m drawing the sun, and grass and stuff and I have no idea what he’s doing! “He” being me!

“This is a new “Pokemon,” a popular cartoon character at the time. “He’s called Poke-Bear!”

Damian was not impressed. But he impressed us when he laid out his big dreams.

“When I grow up I want to be a professional football player.”

I tried not to be a “Debbie downer” when asking “What happens if you break your leg and you can’t
play football anymore? What’s your backup plan? Damian paused for a moment then said, “I have no idea!”

A mature, positive male role model could have helped Damian, Jamal and Jordan figure things out as they grew up. Did they get mentors?

If you know how they are doing today please contact me here at WAVY-TV. Email don.roberts@wavy.com.

Big Brothers Big Sisters-Peninsula – https://www.bigbrobigsis.com/

Up Center – Team Up, Norfolk – https://theupcenter.org/team-up

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