Big Brothers Big Sisters guides once-expelled teen to success

Dr. Peter Taylor and 15-year-old Cody Yearton attend jujitsu classes as a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters

After years of training to be a radiologist, Dr. Peter Taylor says it was time to take community service off the back burner.

"I don't want to feel like I'm being one of the lazy people when it comes to community service and I have been," says Taylor.

He joined Big Brothers Big Sisters in Albany and was matched with 15-year-old Cody Yearton.

"When I got expelled from school it helped me turn around and make my life better," says Yearton

Cody's mom says everyone is judged by his or her actions, and Cody learned that in ninth grade.

"After being kicked out of school, I applied to Big Brothers Big Sisters for Cody to have a role model and trusted friend â" A BIG BROTHER. I believe that Cody has found that and more in his Big Brother, Peter Taylor," she writes.

As Cody grew in the program, so did his goals for the future.

"When I got in the program and started talking with peter it made me really think about that. I'm going to go to college, go in the marines; I'll be done with college before my class gets to senior years," says Yearton. "It's really helped me think about my goals and accomplish a lot of things."

Taylor says everyone needs guidance when they're young at some point.

"Even the captain of the football team is probably still thinking. 'Am I doing it right? Am I good enough? Are my parents proud of me?' You don't really feel as confident that you're doing everything the right way," says Taylor. "It's kind of nice having someone say. 'You're doing fine, don't worry about it, just keep one foot in front of the other.'"

Taylor says with all of the people there are in Albany, he's surprised Big Brothers Big Sisters is short on matches.

Not only has the program helped Cody's character, he says he's learned a few other things like tennis and jujitsu, which they practice at Brunson Martial Arts on Dawson. Cody says a memorable time he spent with Taylor was when they were building a boat deck.

Big Brothers Big Sisters in Albany is currently short on matches for the young people they have in their group.

"It's not as much work as everyone thinks. I understand there's not a lot of matches in Albany and it doesn't really make sense to me because there's a lot of people here," says Taylor. "You're not signing your life away when you sign up for this and you're probably going to meet someone worth knowing."

Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Georgia's mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of youth and children with a professionally-supported one-on-one relationship with a caring adult.

To get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, contact Melinee Calhoun at 1-866-614-4215 (toll free). You can also visit them at 614 N. Tift Avenue.

Read more about Cody's experiences in life and at Big Brother Big Sisters in the following story his mother wrote:

"I made a mistake. I thought he was going to be around forever. Instead, the father of my two beautiful boys left us homeless â" a mother and two baby boys living in a car. When I was pregnant, my deepest fear was that my baby would be born unhealthy. Now I fear for the future. Growing up without a father hasn't been easy for my boys.

I can't talk until I'm blue in the face about what's right and how they should make wise decisions and choices. However, there are some things that just need to come from a man â" A BIG BROTHER.

We are often defined by our actions. My son Cody found that out in ninth grade. His life has been changed ever since. After being kicked out of school, I applied to Big Brothers Big Sisters for Cody to have a role model and trusted friend â" A BIG BROTHER. I believe that Cody has found that and more in his Big Brother, Peter Taylor.

Since Cody's trouble at school, he's been allowed to attend church, go camping with Boy Scouts and hang out with his Big Brother.

Cody currently homeschools, attends Youth Group functions at Harvest Temple Church, goes to Jujitsu Martial Arts classes twice a week with Peter and goes camping often with his Boy Scout Troop.

This year Cody will turn 16. He plans to reach many milestones in 2011. In March, Cody will get his Lifeguard, First Aid and CPR certification at the YMCA. He's working on his Boy Scout Eagle Rank project and will become a certified diver at Summer Camp. When Cody turns 16 in July he will be getting his driver's license. And in the fall, he will begin the Albany Technical College welding certification program.

Peter Taylor is Cody's best friend and he's become part of our family. Cody can confide in Peter and seek guidance from him as well. I feel good about that. And I feel good about my decision to go to Big Brothers Big Sisters so that my son can have a good person in his life. I would definitely recommend the BBBS program to others.

A BIG is a priceless gift that God gives to BBBS to give to those who need love, support and guidance."

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