For young men like Justin Wright, life is more than just a game
Justin Wright epitomizes the meaning of student athlete as he is shown on National Signing Day recently, where he made it OFFICIAL! Wright will be attending the Florida Institute of Technology, in Melbourne, Fla. Pictured-Top row: All Coaches. Darryl Williams, Matt Helmerich, Ameer Riley, Alex Armenteros (track), and Roger Harriott. Bottom row: Myles Wright, brother, Mae Wright, grandmother, Justin Wright, signee, Veda Wright, mother, and Dennis Wright, father.
Perennial National high school football powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale’s senior Wright excelled on the gridiron as well as in the classroom.
By Charles Moseley
Justin Wright’s story is just another reason why parents as well as teachers, coaches, preachers, and others in the community must pour into the lives of our young people. Wright is an example of what can be achieved by someone, with the proper guidance; when they put in the hard work and make good decisions in life. It’s not by accident that good things happen. When the opportunity came, Wright was prepared to meet the challenge and take advantage of getting a college education paid for in advance by the long hours he put in academically as well as athletically.
Wright is a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale. The honor student excels in the classroom as well as on the field. He has a 4.0 grade point average, and the defensive back recently signed a scholarship to play football at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla.
During the 2015 track and field season at St. Thomas Aquinas, he was awarded the Brad McKinney Memorial Award that “commemorates those who best carry on the tradition of unselfish devotion to the good of the team.”
Wright is a member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale Leadership Academy where he learns about health and wellness, finance and education. He enjoys volunteering at the Dr. Reitman Unit Boys & Girls Club, where he serves as a role model for young aspiring student athletes.
He’s a member of the New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale and credits his parents, Dennis and Veda Wright, for raising him to value good morals.
Young Wright took a moment of his obviously busy schedule to shed some of his insights with the Westside Gazette newspaper. So the following are some of Wright’s thoughts which hopefully reach some readers out there, whether you’re young or young at heart, in need of inspiration.
W G: How are you able to balance the challenges that come with being a student athlete?
Wright: I am able to balance the challenges that come with being a student athlete mainly by time management and making sacrifices. When I get home after a day of school and practice, I prioritize by doing my homework before enjoying any leisure time.
WG: Who do you consider are some of the positive role models that have influenced you in your life?
Wright: The positive role model that has influenced my life the most is my father. He tells me his experiences and understands my experiences and gives me advice on how to handle each situation. Additionally, by observing how others behave in general, it further allows me to define who I am as a person.”
WG: How has your experience been attending St. Thomas Aquinas High School?
Wright: My experience at St. Thomas Aquinas High School has been productive as well as fun. I was able to obtain an outstanding education and compete with some of the best football players in Florida. The people I have met also opened my eyes to a world outside of what I’m use to in my own back-yard.
WG: What has been your biggest challenge in life to date and what do you consider your proudest moment?
Wright: My biggest challenge is being able to handle the fact that everything does not always go your way. Everything you do has a consequence. I learned that I just had to do what is best for me, and God won’t let me fail. My proudest moment was signing a National Letter of Intent to play football for Florida Institute of Technology during National Signing Day on Feb. 3. I believe all the athletes aspire to experience this moment.
WG: Why did you choose to attend the school that you selected as you move on to the next phase of your life?
Wright: I chose to attend Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) because of their innovative focus in technology. Everything FIT does, no matter what field of study you choose, revolves around technology. I plan on majoring in PreLaw. I feel that FIT will provide me with an advantage in the field of law since our world relies so heavily on technology. They also have a progressive and competitive football program.
WG: What advice would you give to young people on what you’ve found it takes to be successful so far in life?
Wright: For the young people that want to be successful, you have to be resilient. You can’t let obstacles that you face prevent you from achieving what you want to achieve. That obstacle is put in place to motivate you to work harder. It is also put in place to make you stronger and more appreciative of your success.