Darren Collett was first matched with Garrett Marquez on September 21, 2006. At the time, Garrett was 8 years old. With nearly 10 years in the BBBS mentoring program, he successfully aged out in 2016 after turning 18 and graduating high school.
Big Brother Darren learned about Big Brothers Big Sisters’ need for volunteers through a BBBS board member. He “felt compelled to be a ‘Big’ and mentor a ‘Little.’ When reflecting on his time with Garrett, Darren said “It has been very rewarding watching Garrett develop into a fine young man.” Garrett indicated he appreciated the benefits he has gained from being matched in the program. “With my Big, I have accomplished high school and am enrolled at Indiana State. I have learned so much and am still learning.”
Both Garrett and Darren looked back fondly on their memories of going to various sporting events during their time together. Garrett described Darren as “so helpful and encouraging.” Darren discussed having “some tough discussions over the years,” but stated that Garrett “always remained calm.” When asked about his goals for the future, Garrett said he planned “to be a high school P.E. teacher and football coach. Garrett’s mother, Kathy, expressed her appreciation of the match with Darren. “We have been very blessed to have Darren as a ‘Big.’ He has been very encouraging for Garrett and a wonderful role model and mentor.”
When asked about the mentoring experience through BBBS, Darren stated, “I cannot think of a better way to give of yourself than to volunteer to be a positive role model and mentor a ‘Little.’” For those considering signing up as mentor, Garrett offered this advice, “Make sure every moment counts; Littles will love and open up, don’t get discouraged.”