Changing Lives One Generation at a Time
As Mason DeJarnett was growing up there was always someone investing time in him. Even through his college years he found mentors who encouraged him to grow and to become the best man that he could be. Those early relationships taught him that while childhood isn’t always easy he didn’t have to endure it alone. Those early relationships have played a significant role in how Mason invests his time today.
He has devoted hours of service to the Paducah Day Nursery, the Kiwanis Club, Heartland Worship Center and a host of other volunteer-based organizations that rely on local volunteers. So much of his volunteer time is spent helping Paducah’s kids, beginning with his service to the board of directors at the Paducah Day Nursery. PDN is a local daycare center that provides childcare for families who have children ranging from infants to school age. It’s a safe place for kids to grow and a tool to help families overcome poverty for generations to come.
When Mason had his own daughter he became more aware of the constant care and attention that children require.
“Before I had a child I worked a lot,” Mason says. “After my daughter was born I noticed very quickly that if I went two nights in a row without seeing her that she acted differently around me. I realized then that she needed the consistency of me being there every day.”
Mason believes that PDN provides a similar level of consistency to the lives of the children who live in this community.
“Paducah Day Nursery makes sure that kids have an environment where they can study and learn, have a warm place to be in the winter and a cool place to be in the summer,” Mason says. “It’s a place where kids can be cared for by teachers who are trained in childhood education and who truly care about them.”
Education is very important to Mason. Part of the reason he is so tied to PDN is that he wants children to have equal opportunities to learn so that change can happen in their families from generation to generation.
“The teachers at Paducah Day Nursery are the biggest asset to the program,” Mason says. “This is not just a job for them. Most could be making a lot more money elsewhere, but they stay because they realize they are making a difference in the lives of the children and families they serve.”
This month Mason was selected as VUE’s Difference Maker of the month. He happily spoke about the children at PDN, but as is often the case with individuals who are nominated for this award, he had a more difficult time talking about himself. However, his friends and fellow board members offered more insight into how Mason is truly making a difference in the community.
“Mason is passionate about Paducah Day Nursery and really just everything he’s involved with,” says PDN board member, Whitney Denson. “As a volunteer and fellow board member, I appreciate that. It’s easy to get bogged down and volunteering can become exhausting. Mason is really good about reeling you back in. He brings the meaning back to what you’re doing and you need that as a board member.”
Finding balance between work, volunteer efforts and family life can be challenging. However, Mason does his best to strike that accord.
“Mason definitely has a passion to make the community better through his involvement in Kiwanis and many other initiatives,” Matt Snow says. “He has a strong family and a close group of peers to lean on. His family and faith are a priority to him. He consistently tries to better himself in that way.”
Mason’s community involvement is coupled with a strong commitment to his family and his faith. He meets regularly with a group of men who encourage one another to continually develop godly character that will help them become better husbands, fathers and leaders in the community.
“Mason is a selfless person. He’s always wanting to improve things, always looking for ways to help others,” Nick Morris says. “He’s the type of guy who I could ask to drive me to California and he wouldn’t even ask me why. He’d just do it. He may not have enough time to do non-profit work 24/7, but he does find time to squeeze in as much as he can. To me that’s why he deserves this award.”
The VUE Difference Maker program is sponsored by West Kentucky Garage Builders and Socially Present. Mason will be presented with a $250 check and entered to win $5,000, half of which will benefit a charity that the grand prizewinner selects. Nominations for future monthly awards can be submitted online at inthevue.com.
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