I was sadden to receive a phone call on this morning around 8:45 AM asking me had I heard about Justin Dupree dying last night. I said no. The person said he was playing football with the semi-pro team from Rocky Mount. I called one of the church members that were riding with me to church to tell him what time I would pick him up and he asked me had I heard about Justin. This was 2 reliable resources. The first thing I did then was to go on Facebook to see what I could find and sure enough it was there. Well I still didn’t post anything and decided to wait until I get back from church because by this time I would have collected all kinds of information.
I am sad on today to learn that a smart young man whom I have never heard anything about from little old Pinetops had died. Justin was an outstanding student at SouthWest Edgecombe in 2009 and received an academic scholarship to go to North Carolina State University and would also play football. I used to record him playing football and basketball at SouthWest. I was so proud of him because he was good boy. He was good playing sports but what I loved about him was he was good academically. I went to school with his mom Angela. My daughter India Dancy went to school with Justin.
I am happy because I didn’t get a call today or see on social media and/or tv that Justin was killed because he was out there. Justin was out there but out there being an example of what a young man should be. He graduated from high school and furthered his education at NC State University and was doing one of the things he loved playing football on a Saturday night. He could have been doing some crazy mess like some of these young folk are doing these days living the dangerous life. I understand Justin was about to begin a job on tomorrow in the field that he went to school for.
Justin touched my life and so did many others. But most of all I hope I touched his by supporting him while in high school and encouraging him to be all he could be. So for all of you who say he touched your life, did you do anything to touch his? If you did, you may be the reason why he stayed focused although he endured some obstacles like all of us but you see when we touch each others life positively we help each other.
If you didn’t do anything that you feel may have touched Justin, I ask that you find a youth today and reach out to them. I don’t mean to discriminate either, the youth can be a good one or one that some may consider bad. We must encourage our youth to be the best they can be so they can be encouraged to stay focused and keep their eyes on the prize.
I don’t recall the last time I seen Justin but I tell you I have never heard anything negative about him. I am so proud of him. He has left a legacy for all of the youth in Pinetops and I challenge you to do it for Justin. If I had enough money I would have some t-shirts made, “Do It For Justin!” Be all you can be, stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize.
Justin didn’t make it to his job in the field that he furthered his education but I am so glad to know that I truly believe he has a seat in God’s Kingdom.