Mentor Helps Teen Battle Bullying - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Mentor Helps Teen Battle Bullying

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By Cabot Rea

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A retired bank executive has answered the call as a Big Brother, changing the life of a special young man.

Del-Vaunte' Scott’s mother and father divorced when he was very young. As he was entering middle school, he and his mother moved to Westerville; but for Del-Vaunte', the next two years were a very difficult adjustment.

“I didn’t really hit it off. I got bulled and picked on,” said Del-Vaunte'.

Fortunately for Del-Vaunte', he didn’t have to go it alone. Just a year earlier, Michael Johnson entered his life through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program. Del-Vaunte' really needed his guidance as he struggled against stereotyping at school.

“I was the only male flute player and I was made fun of, but Michael told me whatever made me happy, to do it. One day I went to my band locker, and my flute was gone,” said Del-Vaunte'.

The $800 flute was never recovered, but Michael’s wife, Gena, gave Del-Vaunte' her flute. The bond between the two families strengthened.

Michael is a bronze start recipient. He says he grew up well educated, in a Catholic school, in a rough west-Chicago neighborhood. He said he understands what it’s like to be targeted for being different.

“I gave him advice to be true to yourself, true to your core, and let what others say bounce off of you,” said Michael.

The pair would get together twice a week. Michael would sit next to Del-Vaunte’s mother at soccer games, plays, concerts, and his high school graduation.

Now, Del-Vaunte' is a sophomore at Bowling Green State University studying International Studies.

“A lot of decisions I make, a lot of things I do have come from him,” said Del-Vaunte'.

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