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 on March 9. Davis was selected along with 28 other students across Essex 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 Board of Education and Essex County School Boards Association President Sandra Mordecai, board member Mark Robertson and West Orange High School Principal Hayden Moore.
Davis received the award for his hard work and character throughout his four years at West Orange High School. Only 17, Davis is an accomplished drummer and percussionist who is part of the jubilee and glee choirs. He is a member of the award-winning wind ensemble and has been involved with marching and jazz bands.
He formed “Y.S.S.,” which stands for 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. 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. Justin got off his own school bus, found her son and made sure he was OK,” Mordecai said, referring to a February 2016 incident in which a downed wire forced traffic to a standstill at WOHS and Davis, seeing a mother’s social media post expressing concern for her son, whom she could not reach, found the student, alerted the mother and ensured the student was reunited with his aide when they were allowed to enter the school.
Davis is president of the Montclair Kappa League, an alumni chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity that provides mentorship to local middle school and high school boys in New Jersey.
“The Kappa League has taught me many things along the lines of leadership, motivation, humbleness, networking and giving back to my community,” Davis said. “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 daily to check up on me to make sure I’m OK and still trying to conquer the world.”
Davis will be attending Stockton University next year and seeking a bachelor’s 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,” Mordecai said, “and we wish him well in his future endeavors. He is the epitome of our West Orange students and we are all very proud of him.”