Student loses parents, gains success

Antonio Darrisaw became a part of the "Adopt a Role Model" program six years ago.

The program is designed for young boys from single parent households to meet male role models.

"With this program, you have folks that sit down and actually talk to you about what you done been through," Darrisaw said Friday.

At 15, Darrisaw lost his father and his mother within a matter of months.

"She was drinking...but she had stopped, and so I guess it came back on again," he said.

His father was shot five months later.

Darrisaw, who was once an honor student, dropped out of high school.

While at church, he met Tina Dennard, the co-founder of the program.

"He was robbed," Dennard said in tears, "He was robbed of a mom and a dad. He deserves a fair chance...if he fails, it's on him. But he's given a fair chance."

Dennard put him in touch with Naa Adorkor Allotey, a Bibb County Star student, who was valedictorian of her high school class at Mount De Sales.

After some tutoring, Darrisaw scored high enough on the SAT to enroll at Central Georgia Technical College.

Just as someone helped Darrisaw, he plans to spend his career helping other people.

Darrisaw plans to take EMT classes to become a firefighter.

His student mentor, Allotey is studying biochemical engineering at Duke University.

While Allotey helped Darrisaw learn, she says she learned something too.

"Adopt a role model has taught me that you can also gain by helping other people and you don't realize that small things that you do can make a difference in somebody else's life," she said.

And while to some, Darrisaw may have looked like a high school drop out without a chance six years ago, he's thankful two people took one on him.

"You never know what everyone else is going through, or where they come from," he said.

Now he hopes to inspire others as a portrait of success.

To learn how to volunteer you can click here.


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