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Big Brothers Big Sisters makes its first of many mentor matches since opening in October 2008. Last month, Kern County Program Manager Gerardo Marquez introduced Darren Chaney to his Little Brother Malcolm. The two have already gone out together for pizza and taken a tour of Darren's work.

Chaney has been eagerly waiting the reopening of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Kern County for years. He knows first-hand the impact that a caring adult friend can have on a child he is a former Little Brother himself.

"I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of violence and crime. My father wasn't part of my life, and I owe my Big Brother for helping me become who I am today," says Chaney, now a police officer. "Now, it's my turn to give back what was given to me."

Gina, Malcom's mother, is so happy to have a "consistent role model" in his life. "Malcolm is a great kid, and I am excited to see his relationship with Darren grow over the next few months," she says.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California exists to make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth, primarily through a professionally supported, one-to-one relationship with a caring adult, and to assist them in becoming healthy, confident, competent, and caring individuals. For more information, please visit www.Bigs.org or call 1-559-268-2447.

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