There's nothing like recognizing a dedicated student for making a difference in school.
Justise black is no stranger to Dothan high school. He excelled there as a student being honored during the Annual Wiregrass Black History Awards Program. But now he is on the other side of the award eager to give back to his community.
"As a alumnus and a former honoree, I think that it's essential that I did my part and came back
and I spoke a few words over what will be tremendous lives to comes," said Black.
No longer listening to encouraging words as a recipient, Black came back to Dothan to uplift those that are in the same position he once was in.
"I paid, hopped on a bus then I drove, then I came down with no question because to be apart of a program like this is priceless," said Black.
The Morehouse man is a 2013 graduate of Dothan High School. His trip from Atlanta, Georgia was well worth his time, seeing over 50 Wiregrass students receive congressional certificates for their hard work in school and in their community.
"And I think it's just very vital that we continue to invest into the community as well as the education because these children that receive these awards today as well as the seniors and juniors who are all ready to go off into their own endeavors our indeed our future, " said Black.
Students enjoyed short inspiring speeches from many Dothan area politicians, education administrators and attorneys, but one guest stood out. Steve McLendon, an Ozark native who plays professional football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. His message was all about not giving up on your dreams.
"I'm from Ozark, it's way smaller than Dothan and I made it but it doesn't matter where
you are from it's all about the work that you put in to get there," said McLendon.
This year’s theme for the black history program was "Civil Rights in America". Alabama House of Representative Dexter Grimsley was the keynote speaker.