Rodgers striving to make a difference in community

Published 11:31 pm Monday, September 10, 2007

By By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor
Three years ago, Freida Norman knew she needed something to reach her troubled son. Victor Rodgers provided a yard full of leaves and a rake.
In 2004, Norman’s son, Darius Moore, was a nearly 15-year-old freshman at Washington High School who couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble. Today, he’s a National Guardsman in Fort Benning, Ga., and Norman says it’s because of Rodgers’ decision to give up his Saturdays to help a young boy who reminded him of himself.
Norman turned to Rodgers, a director of Beaufort County’s JobLink programs, out of desperation. One of the components of JobLink is a program aimed at teenagers with “barriers” to overcome, Rodgers said.
Rodgers, a native of Williamston who now lives in Washington, said he could have been someone like a young Darius if not for his own father.
Rodgers, a retired chief petty officer who spent 23 years in the Navy, set out to provide that pattern for Moore. Some Saturdays, Moore and Rodgers did chores; other times, they’d catch a movie or two.
And they’d talk. No matter what else Rodgers and Moore did together, they’d always talk.
When Moore moved to Virginia, the calls turned into letters, but the contact was never lost.
Norman said “lost” is exactly what her son would be if not for Rodgers.