Wednesday’s Child: Junior needs a family to guide him after high school

Jun 7, 2023, 2:21 PM | Updated: 7:45 pm

SANDY CITY, Utah – At Elite Performance Gym in Sandy, 18-year-old Junior listened intently to every direction given by owner Jeremy Horn.

First, he jogged around the gym to warm up, then he practiced the jump rope.

Eventually, the two put on practice gloves and pads and Junior went to work learning how to box.

“I’m pretty excited,” Junior said.

Boxing is a sport that takes time, dedication, and resilience. It’s a sport Junior has wanted to learn since watching a former foster sibling work hard at it.

“I sparred, I trained with my last foster brother, and he became a boxer,” he said.

Junior has lived in and out of foster homes over the past decade.

“My first time I was 10, and I was in there until I was 13, then I came out and went back to my mom and then went back into foster care,” he said.

Junior described his teen years as “down” years but said his current foster family has pushed him to become the best version of himself. He recently turned 18 and became the first person in his immediate family to graduate high school.

“It feels like an honor to me, because my whole family on my mom and my dad’s side has been through a lot of things, and I have been through a lot of things too, and it just shows that if you have been through a lot, you can still overcome things,” he said.

With high school behind him, Junior is now looking toward the future. He’s interested in a career in the trucking industry.

“I’m looking into two things, diesel mechanic and truck driving,” he said.

While he has an idea of what he wants to do next in life, making big life changes is a little intimidating. Junior said he’s looking for a loving parent or family that will guide him.

“I’m looking for a best friend, people I can talk to, loyal, it’s just something I need. Everyone needs a loving family,” he said.

Karen Burnette, Junior’s Youth Connections Advocate at Rise the Future described Junior as outgoing, funny, loyal, and kind.

“Have that loyalty with me, and the rule I’ve always had is, if you do your part I’ll do my part,” Junior said.

And when asked what immediately stands out about Junior?

“His smile!” Burnette said. “Junior is a happy teenager. He loves all things sports related.”

Junior would like to connect with a family soon and share more of his passions.

“I love sushi, I love seafood, I love meat,” he said. “As for music, I like country, reggae, rap, some classic, and some R&B.”

Junior hopes by opening up about his life, a family will open up theirs to him.

“I’m just hoping for that type of family to help me out and take me in,” he said.

To learn more about Junior, please visit his Raise the Future profile or contact Raise the Future at 801-265-0444.

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Wednesday’s Child: Junior needs a family to guide him after high school