CINCINNATI -- A local man has been named National Big Brother of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which matches adult volunteer mentors with Tri-State children who can benefit from a positive role model.
Terence Daniels of Cincinnati was paired with his "little brother" Terrell Blue in 2009, and the duo accepted the award Wednesday at the organization's national conference in San Diego.
“Terence is a treasure, a rare combination of the traits and skills we look for in our volunteers. He’s been consistent and passionate. He’s always been there for Terrell and for our agency," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati President and CEO Kathy List.
Video above provided by Jay Shatz and Gary Hughes.
In 2009, Blue's aunt called Big Brothers Big Sisters after gaining custody of him following his brother’s death. She hoped a mentor could offer extra support and guidance. Blue now considers Daniels his “blood brother.”
Daniels had applied to be a Big Brother -- he was a Little Brother years earlier -- to be a positive influence on a child. Over the years, throughout Terence’s military training and deployment to Iraq, the two maintained consistent contact.
“From the beginning, I knew to gain Terrell’s trust, I had to keep showing up, doing what I said I would do. He started to open up, went from having altercations in school to being on the honor roll and playing football,” Daniels said.
Blue recently graduated from Withrow High School with plans to join the National Guard, attend the University of Cincinnati and become a dentist.
Big Brothers Big Sisters says this type of long-term, professionally-supported mentoring has been proven to help children become successful in school and in life.