SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – This month's KSLA News 12 Volunteer is a person who puts the 'I' in investment for our future.
Eddie Brumfield is a computer whiz. If your desktop is down and out, Eddie is your man, with the clever motto, "call me before you need me."
There's also another call that Eddie takes. Actually, it's more like a calling.
What appears to be an average computer guy who specializes in bits and bytes does something way above average. His next project takes a special tool, but not one from his toolbox. Instead, it's the desire and patience he has in his heart to help others.
Eddie Brumfield spends hours upon hours every week mentoring young men, like 11-year-old Jeremy Clinton.
He's part of the 'Reach for the Stars' program. It matches mentors to west Shreveport elementary 4th and 5th graders.
"(The program is designed) to encourage them, to motivate them, to spend time with them, to talk and then to listen because it's very important children have somebody to listen to," said Reach for the Stars Coordinator Myra Robinson.
For Eddie and Jeremy, you could say they were a match made in 'cyber' heaven.
"They spend a lot of time together because they love computers," Robinson said.
They meet after school, and sometimes, they take field trips.
On this day, these two computer buddies are heading to Eddie's shop. What kid who loves video games wouldn't love the world of computer hardware and software.
That's the whole point of being a mentor, keeping kids like Jeremy on the right track and out of trouble, taking a mega-bite out of crime.
"I kind of learned that if we, the positive people, don't teach them then the negative people will," Eddie said.
Eddie is like Jeremy's 'firewall', protecting him by just being there, and making an important investment.
"Some people will donate money or they will come and speak for you, but when you give that gift that you can't pay for, that's the gift of time with a child, that sets you apart from everybody else," Robinson said.
And making a difference is what makes Eddie Brumfield. And he's downloading life's knowledge to one child at a time.
"(I'm) just basically giving back. My father said try to help somebody, just try to help somebody. There is a need, there is a definite need," Eddie said.