Big Brother Dale Long interviewed on NBC Nightly News
Dale Long spoke with NBC Nightly News’ Ron Mott about making a difference in the lives of young men through his decades-long commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
For almost 40 years, Dale has been a Big Brother. The former ‘Big Brother of the Year’ has mentored seven Little Brothers in that span of time.
He was also recently recognized as one of “TheGrio’s 100: History Makers In The Making.” Released by theGrio.com, a division of NBC News, the list includes 100 African-American men and women who are writing the next chapter of American history. He helped forge a national partnership more than 20 years ago with Big Brothers Big Sisters and his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, in an effort to recruit more men to mentor African American boys who disproportionately represent children waiting to be matched with mentors. Dale is an advocate for and donor to the mentoring organization, and he serves on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lone Star.
Dale said the reason he has been a mentor for so many years is, “Somebody was there for me. There was always someone outside of my father, my mother and my family who were there for me; could be teachers, guys at church, guys in the community. Someone was always looking out for me.”
When asked how dire the need is for African American men to participate in this program, Dale said, “There are 7,000 African American boys who are signed up and waiting for Big Brothers. Part of my outreach has been to encourage men, particularly men of color, to volunteer their time to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Hopefully the influence and successes I’ve had, someone else will see that and say ‘I can do that too. I can make a difference. I can be there for a young person.'”
Dale goes on to explain that it only takes the willingness to volunteer your time and mentor to a child to be a Big Brother, “The sky’s the limit. Just spend that time to let that young person know that ‘Yes, you can be somebody!’ and I’m here for you.”
Dale plans on mentoring as long as he can. “I’m determined not to let them down.”