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Super Bowl linebacker to speak to Big Brothers Big Sisters

Darren Smith

Darren Smith

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Updated: January 5, 2013 6:17AM



Darrin Smith, a linebacker for NFL and NCAA championship teams, will talk to local supporters of Big Brothers Big Sisters Will and Grundy Counties this week about what the mentoring program did for him.

Smith will speak Thursday in Joliet at a private gathering of donors and supporters of the local program, which pairs children with adult mentors.

Smith was a starting linebacker for two Dallas Cowboys teams that won the Super Bowl and two University of Miami teams that won NCAA championships. At Miami he was part of a linebacking corps nicknamed “The Bermuda Triangle” and is in the school’s football hall of fame. Smith has a master’s degree in business administration.

He grew up with a Big Brother mentor. Smith at age 3 lost his father to violence. His mother enrolled Smith in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami when he was 8 so he could have a male role model.

“My Big Brother taught me the life lessons that I still carry to this day — the value of hard work, dedication and setting and achieving goals,” Smith said in a written statement.

Smith recently joined Big Brothers Big Sisters’ national speakers bureau and the organization’s African American Advisory Council. Smith said he hopes to inspire more minorities to become involved in the program.

According to Big Brothers Big Sisters, 15 percent of its mentors are black, while 40 percent of the young people in the program are black. Black and Hispanic boys comprise the largest number of children waiting to be matched with mentors in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

“By serving on the national advisory council and serving as a celebrity ambassador, I can share my story and perhaps inspire and encourage more volunteers to come forward, particularly men of color,” Smith said.

The Joliet event will be at the home of Jay and Lori Bergman.

Anyone interested in more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters Will and Grundy Counties can visit the website www.bbbswillgrundy.org, or call 815-723-2227.



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