WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange High School senior Justin Davis was honored at the Essex County School Boards Association Student Recognition Program, held at Liberty Middle School in March.
Davis was selected along with 28 other students across the county who have “distinguished themselves in unique ways, who model good citizenship, or a quiet strength that inspires others in the spirit of volunteerism.”
The event was attended by West Orange Board of Education (WOBOE) and Essex County School Boards Association President Sandra Mordecai, WOBOE member Mark Robertson and West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore.
According to the school boards association, Davis received the award for his hard work and character throughout his four years at West Orange High School. At 17 years old, Davis is an accomplished drummer and percussionist and is part of both the Jubilee and Glee choirs. He is also a member of the award-winning Wind Ensemble and has been involved with the marching and jazz bands.
He formed “Y.S.S. (Young Suburban Souls),” a band comprised of other talented musicians at West Orange High School and does live music once a month in the Tarnoff Cafeteria to “spice up the lunch block.” He also performs with the worship band at his church.
“Justin’s band volunteers for various events, including the Senior Citizens Prom,” said Mordecai.
In February 2016, Davis helped out a fellow high school student with Tourette’s Syndrome during a busing incident.
“He really touched my heart when he responded to a Mom on Facebook whose special needs son was on a school bus for a long period of time,” said Mordecai. “Justin got off his own school bus, found her son and made sure he was ok.”
Davis is the president of the Montclair Kappa League, an Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, which is an award-winning leadership-development program that provides mentorship to local middle school and high school boys in New Jersey.
Each year, the program pairs members of the fraternity with local students through an eight-month one-on-one mentoring partnership.
“The Kappa League has taught me many things along the lines of leadership, motivation, humbleness, networking and giving back to my community,” said Davis. “Henry Appiah is my mentor and has been for the past four years. I consider him as my big brother. I can always call him when I need him and he even calls me on a daily basis to check up on me to make sure I'm okay and still trying to conquer the world.”
Davis will be attending Stockton University and seeking a BA degree in Criminal Justice. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in Homeland Security.
“Justin Davis is an amazing young man, well-rounded in both academics, performing arts and most of all community service and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Mordecai. “He is the epitome of our West Orange students and we are all very proud of him.”