“I am graduating from St. Paul’s. Right now life is doing chores for my mom and working out. I am going to play football at Clark Atlanta University in the fall. I have two older brothers, 23 and 21. My oldest brother just graduated from the Naval Academy and played football there. My other brother is transferring from South Alabama to Clark Atlanta. I grew up following in my brother’s footsteps. Being the youngest brother has made me tough. It has been good to be home together during the Coronavirus. We are always screaming together and making noises and loud. We were playing basketball yesterday and I knew I was getting picked on, but it used to be a lot worse. I am the tallest one now. I get to play football with my brother in college and this will be the first time to play with one of my brothers. I am excited to have him there to talk to and push each other.
I am majoring in biology and want to be an orthodontist. I want to give back to the community. I am in programs that mentor kids because many don’t have big brothers or a family that pushes them. I was in a service leadership class during my senior year and we went to Prichard Prep and the School for the Deaf and Blind each week. We were assigned a child and we played with them and helped them with their work. That was the highlight of my week besides the football games. I am in Jack and Jill. It is for African American mothers and children and there are chapters across the country. The club started in Philadelphia and the goal is to help all children and teach philanthropy. I am going to keep this community service in college.
I am also in the inaugural class of Lamplighters, a mentor group through the fraternity Omega Psi Phi. It helped build a family outside my own family and gave me adults outside of my family to talk with. That was new for me. I told them things I couldn’t tell my parents and they supported me and gave good advice. Positive role models make a difference.
My dad is a dentist and my mom is a lawyer. I do my best because I can’t fail and let my family down. My mother is intelligent and I have learned patience from her. My dad is family-oriented and would do anything for us. He is a dentist and puts everything into his patients and whatever he does. He has a big family and they all look and sound alike and have big hearts. My grandmother is 96 and she is still young and family-oriented. She and my dad are basically twins. My other grandmother died in 2012 and it was the hardest thing I have been through. She motivated me and was always there for me. My family has been such a big influence on me and I know how lucky I am to have them.
I don’t know when I go to college, but I started packing last week. We are supposed to go up early for football but no one knows when that is. I play cornerback, defensive back and safety. Practice is fun, but you have to have the right mindset every day. I hate to admit this, but I do yoga. It helps me stretch, and the breathing calms me down. I figured out in 11th grade that I was good at football. My mother didn’t want me to play, but my parents never miss a game and I could hear her yell every time my name was called.”
“I am so proud of Julian. He is thoughtful and becoming a good citizen. He now reminds me to say please and thank you. He is a dynamo.”