MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Big Brothers Big Sisters “Bigs in Blue” program connects youth with police officers in communities throughout our nation, building strong, trusting, lasting relationships.
The BBBS Miami chapter this year received a $25-thousand grant from the NFL’s “Inspire Change” initiative, thanks to an outstanding ‘big’ and ‘little’.
Tyrese, 18, and Miami Beach Detective Christopher Mitchell may look like they’ve known each other their whole lives. In reality, they were brought together through tragedy. In fact, this pairing might seem like an unlikely one all-together.
Mitchell, a 19 year veteran of the police department, lost his son three years ago.
“My son, two weeks prior to his high school graduation, went to spend the weekend with my mother and she had found him unresponsive in the bedroom that Saturday morning,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell’s son had a congenital heart disorder called Wolff Parkinson White which led to him having a heart attack.
“As a result, he sustained an anoxic brain injury,” explained Mitchell.
Less than a year after his son passed away, and reluctant to move on, a coworker suggested Mitchell join a mentor program called “Bigs in Blue” which teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters. That’s where Tyrese comes in.
“When I first walked in, I was sitting right there and then I seen Chris walk in. We took like a glance at each other, for like a good five minutes, and I was like ‘Watch that be my mentor’,” said Tyrese.
As fate would have it, he was right. Tyrese had recently moved to Miami from New York after losing his older cousin to a police-involved shooting while the two were walking home from school.
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