WACO, Texas — A Waco Independent School District police officer is asking parents to give him a call if your kid needs a mentor or a positive role model in his or her life.

Freddie Walker thought her years of raising children were over, but life took an unexpected turn.

"A lot of these kids out here don’t have parents,” Walker said. They have grandparents, and I’m a grandparent, so I'm getting back into parenting. This is something that’s kind of new to me and I need some help with these kids."

Help just so happens to come from Darius Brown, a Waco ISD police officer who believes in the power of mentorship.

"I think it’s important for kids to have a positive role model,” Brown said. Sometimes they may not get that exposure and I think it’s really important (that) they are learning and growing from someone who is living it out."

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Once a week Brown, his fiancé, and other community leaders mentor 4th through 8th-grade kids in East Waco through a program called Becoming Better Boys and Girls.

"The group is something I look forward every day. I look forward to being at the YMCA on Thursdays at 5:30. My boys say to me, 'Hey Officer Brown, we pray that boys’ group never ends.' And that lights me up," Brown said.

The purpose is to teach kids about character building, goal setting, school academics, attendance, and working on having a positive attitude.

"My son, he needs a good manly father figure, because he doesn’t have that,” one parent said. “And Darius, he's a good mentor. He helps out a lot."

Brown said he sees a lot of himself in many of the kids.

"I had a mentor growing up and he changed my life, so I believe in the power of influence," Brown said.

If you would like to volunteer with Becoming Better Boys and Girls, or you want to get your son or daughter involved, you can contact Officer Darius Brown at darius.brown@wacoisd.org

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