Over a decade ago, William "Big Will" Dunn started his fishing journey — with a goal far greater than catching fish. Dunn has taken thousands of kids like 15-year-old Jaron Williams out fishing over the last dozen years.
He was inspired by the time he spent with a young neighbor whose dad wasn't around. "It was a joy seeing this little boy catch a fish that he never caught in his life," Dunn said.
That day sparked something in the tire salesman. Soon, he was digging into his savings to invest in other teens.
For an angler like Dunn, the water feels like home. But for a teen like Williams, it's a different story. Williams had never been on a boat and was scared his first time out.
"I grew up in a rough school and I was a pretty rough kid when I was their age," Dunn said. "I used to go out with my dad, and I still remember days when I went out with my dad."
Many of the kids Dunn takes fishing, like 11-year-old Jayden, are fatherless. "There is such a feeling of freedom," Jayden said. "It's so special to be out here."
When asked why he does what he does, Dunn said, "My reward is … If I could be a light for one more kid, it's worth it."
And sometimes, for kids like Williams, there are other lessons beyond how to reel one in. "Patience, patience is key," Williams said.