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Angel teaches 'little brother' skills and life lessons

Angel teaches 'little brother' skills and life lessons

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida has hundreds of children on a waiting list. They're waiting for someone to be a mentor to spend a little time with.

They're waiting for someone like Carl Byrd. Carl is this year's Military Big Brother of the Year and Angel in Our Midst.

"We were two peas in a pod," said Byrd about his Little Brother, Dy'Narrius Lovette. "It was a perfect match."

Being raised by a single mom, Dy'Narrius was thrilled to have a fellow "nerd" for a big brother. It sure came in handy when he was having some struggles in school.

"When I go to school and I do math, sometimes I get some of the answers wrong and when I go with him he helps me with a lot of them," Dy'Narrius explained.

They also play word games to increase vocabulary and Carl schedules outings like a learning adventure at the MESS Hall. Dy'Narrius is now an honor role student, but their relationship isn't all about the books. They tackle guy things as well.

"The thing that makes him a special person is how he helps me with things and helps me figure out things that I don't know about," Dy'Narrius said.

"I want him to learn how it is to be a man and how a man is to carry himself," explained Carl. "How a man is to treat his wife, his children, other children. How a man is to approach life."

He instills the values of community service by taking Dy'Narrius with him to feed the homeless at a shelter and to visit the nursing home. There's also the lesson of balance and enjoying life.

Carl has three children of his own and his Little Brother blends right in with the family. As for the extra time and resources, he said that's just an investment in the future; a worthwhile investment.

"He is the best brother I ever had," Dy"Narrius said.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

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