Richard & DeWan

Richard Rhodes has mentored three young men during his more than 20 years with Big Brothers Big Sisters, including six memorable years with DeWan. Richard has been a Big Brother since 1989 and knows the importance of providing positive images to young boys.

Little Brother DeWan’s mother, Makaya, enrolled him because after moving from Oklahoma to Maryland as a single parent and wanted DeWan to have a male presence in his life.

“Mr. Richard was a Godsend,” Makaya recalls, “No one could have picked a better match for my son — it was God who gave Richard to him.” Richard and DeWan were matched in July of 2005. From the beginning Richard and Makaya worked together to make sure DeWan maintained good grades and the match took off from there.

Richard is constantly exposing DeWan to activities he hadn’t experienced. Richard owns his own construction business, RR Construction, and he has taught DeWan home repair and landscaping skills. The pair has also volunteered at Richard’s church, feeding the homeless one Saturday each month and at Thanksgiving.

Makaya says her son has become more responsible, more mature and takes life more seriously since the inception of the partnership.

DeWan graduated from high school and enrolled in the University of Maryland, while joining the Marine Reserves.