Deputy Chief Brian James is a Greensboro native with a true heart for serving his community. Born and raised on the Northeast side of town where his mother still lives, Brian was surrounded by people who looked out for him as he grew up. This upbringing proved to him that with the support of others, anything was possible. After graduating from NC A&T State University, he eventually joined the Greensboro Police Department and has been serving the community with them ever since.
“I’m just real passionate about kids and making sure that regardless of background or economic situation, they have an opportunity to succeed.”
Beyond his day job, Brian continues to give back to the city. Through United Way, he is a donor, vice-chair for African American Leadership, and a mentor with the African American Male Initiative. Brian says being a mentor to a student at Wiley Elementary School is extremely rewarding. “I feel like we’ve established a good relationship,” he says, “I want to continue it as long as I can.”
Brian and his mentee meet up once a week at the school. They talk about family, learning from mistakes, and most importantly, school. He’s been helping his mentee with homework and constantly reminds him that “not going to college is not an option.” This was something Brian’s parents instilled in him and something he instills in the younger generation so that one day, they may be “pillars in their communities.”
When asked what keeps him motivated at his job and at United Way, Brian says it’s the power to change a child’s life for the better. The mentors in Brian’s life showed him that change is possible if everybody participates, whether it be through volunteering, mentorships, or donations. He concludes, “As citizens we have an obligation to help those kids. It’s just that simple.”