Real Life Stories

Big Brother David and Little Brother Darryen: The first match during "100 Men in 100 Days"

David Sandoval spent 11 years in the Navy and now is a full-time student at the University of West Florida. He had a little free time on his hands, so he recently decided to volunteer as a Big Brother mentor in Pensacola. David and his Little Brother, Darryen, were the first Big and Little duo to be matched during Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida’s “100 Men in 100 Days” campaign.

When asked why he chose to become a mentor, David stated, “As I got older, I realized that life shouldn’t be about me. I started thinking about how there are kids right here in my community who don’t have the same opportunities that I did. I’m excited to mentor, give advice and help show Darryen that there is so much out there for him.”

So far, the experience has been nothing but smiles and laughs for both David and Darryen. While in the car traveling to a Blue Wahoos game, Darryen told David that he enjoys country music and his favorite artist is Tim McGraw. The second time they got together, Darryen hopped in the back seat and said, “David, can you put on some Tim McGraw for me?” David was happy to do so. “Now, we sing in the car,” he said. “Darryen gets a little embarrassed when I sing because I sing real loud and I try to get him to sing louder, too. But we have fun. We both love music.”

Darryen lives with his mom and siblings. He is a stellar student who makes mostly As in school and, according to David, “is one of the most polite 7-year-olds I’ve ever met.”

David stated he is looking forward to doing more activities with Darryen, including teaching him how to swim and how to play baseball, and doing art activities together. He says, “It’s just not Darryen who’s going to be getting something out of this relationship. I think it’s going to be great for both of us.”

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