Before he was a football star...

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa is so proud of Little Brother Darius, who recently broke the Lincoln High School football team record for most rushing yards in a single season. The record, previously set in 1991 with 1465 yards, was broken when Darius reached 1506 yards during his senior football season at Lincoln High School.

Before Darius was a football star, and before all those rushing yards, he was matched with his Big Duo, Michael and Danielle Edwards. Darius was only 6 years old when he was first matched with Michael and Danielle, and they have been a large part of his life ever since.

When the three were first matched together, Michael and Danielle were recently married and did not yet have kids. They wanted to make a difference in the life of a child and decided to sign up to be a Big Duo together. Ten years later, Darius is like a big brother to the three children Michael and Danielle now have of their own. Darius is considered a part of their family, and they have enjoyed many fun activities together.

At first, they enjoyed doing things like the Hy-Vee Fishing Derby, Jolly Holiday Lights, Hawkeye and Cyclone football games and other various outings. Now, Michael and Danielle love going to see Darius play football on Friday nights, hanging out with him at home, or going out for dinner. They have even made a trip to visit Danielle’s family in Cassville, Wisconsin, where they enjoyed fireworks, jet skiing and a private plane ride!

During their time together, Michael and Danielle have watched Darius grow into an intelligent and kind young man. “He knows what he wants and he is focused on achieving his goals,” says Michael. “He is always kind and polite to others and never speaks negatively of anyone.”Michael and Danielle say it has been a pleasure to watch Darius become the young man that he is today.

Being a Big Duo has been a fun and rewarding experience for both of them, and they believe mentoring is a wonderful way to give back and make a difference in a child’s life. “We are so proud of Darius,” says Michael, “We plan to continue to be a part of his life beyond his school years and can’t wait to watch him continue to achieve great success.”

“Don’t allow time to be an excuse,” says Danielle, “We both have full-time jobs and three children, but we still find time to include Darius in our lives.

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