A few weeks ago, I had the fortune of meeting Damon Wharton, an inspirational, outstanding 10th grader at Providence Cristo Rey High School. Damon recently decided to enter the Own Your Future Media Arts Contest, which is an opportunity for students to creatively express why school is important to them. Damon submitted his song, “Stay in School”, into the High School Video category and when I first heard it, I was impressed by his powerful message, skill with the guitar, and smooth voice. Later on, when Shahana and I went to interview him and find out more about his story, we were amazed to hear that he had only been playing the guitar for a month! Moreover, he was not taking lessons from a professional; instead, he was teaching himself how to play!
As we delved deeper into his story, he spoke about the tremendous influences in his life, including his faith, his mentor, Jim, and his twin brother, Jarmon. I couldn’t stop smiling as Damon told us about how these positive influences have motivated him to excel both inside and outside the classroom. Even though we spent less than an hour with Damon and Jarmon, it was clear how mature and driven they both were. After we finished up the interview, they shook our hands and thanked us for our time. Every time we’ve communicated with these two all-star students, before and after the interview, I’ve been astonished by how well-mannered they are, especially at their age! As students and as young adults, Damon and Jarmon truly embody the Own Your Future message and I wish them great success in all of their endeavors!