My best friend Julius has always been there for me whenever I needed him. He's always had my back and I've always had his. I have seen him go through a lot of hard times never having his parents around. He was forced to grow up fast and always sent money back home to Sierra Leone, Africa to help take care of his mother and siblings.
Being only 19-years-old, he can't afford to have his mother and siblings live in America and just wishes for the day to see them in person again. He hasn't seen his mother since he was a little kid except through a picture.
Throughout high school he was always the entertaining great guy that everyone had fun around. He managed to maintain over a 4.0 GPA with AP classes while being a star athlete in football and track and field. There wasn't a single teacher that was bored having his energetic personality in their class.
Julius recently achieved one of his most recent dreams of going to a university and is now attending UC Merced (in California). While majoring in business he works part-time with all the money going to pay for his schooling.
My family treated Julius as another one of their children since he was my closest friend and a brother to me (on-and-off-the football field). My parents opened their hearts and home to Julius. He came over for dinner, stayed the night at our house many nights, went on family vacations with us, celebrated Christmas and other holidays with us while enjoying the bigger family setting. I will never forget one Christmas when he opened up his gifts full of clothes. Julius literally opened the gift and was so excited to get the clothing he immediately tried on all the clothes and walked around strutting it and showing off what he got. It probably took the longest time to open five gifts since he had to go change after every single gift to show us how it looked and how much he appreciated everything; it's a forever memory sketched not only in my mind but in my soul. The showing off didn't end there because we wore our matching shoes almost everyday after that to school and bragged about it.
Julius has made such a difference in my life and I don't know what I'd do without him. Towards the end of senior year, the day before our section championship football game, Julius received the unfortunate news that his closest motherly figure here in California passed away. It was one of the hardest things to see him go through. Yes, he was down but being the type of guy he is he was able to lead the team in the championship game and leave everything out on the field.
Currently, I'm an enlisted Marine (USMC) so as I lay in bed reminiscing of all the days back in school, how much I miss home, my family and friends, I just can't imagine going 14 years without seeing my mother or brothers. I'm counting down the days until I see my family and it hits me so hard emotionally knowing Julius doesn't have a countdown to see his family, he never has. To be able to give him the gift of seeing his mother would be the biggest blessing knowing how much he deserves it and what a blessing it would be for his mother to see the incredible man Julius has become. Please help me grant this wish...
Thank you for taking the time to read this, every little bit helps my friend get that much closer to seeing his family.
- Diego Cervantes
- Sylviana Russell
- Krystal Moreno
- Momma Moreno and Jazzy!
- Dana Flanagan-McBeth
Organizer and beneficiary
Elk Grove, CA