A Special Relationship Contributes to Success

With the joint support of both his mom and the Vance family Richard has met and exceeded his potential. He is the starting fullback for the Wake Forest University football team and an exceptional student. He consistently excels in his classes and participates positively in the community by volunteering.
I can honestly say I was the typical high school jock who thought a sport was going to put food on the table for my family. It was the Vances who told me to value my education. In fact, I hurt my knee this past season and the very first thing Margaret and Jeffery told me was that "you don't have to continue to play football if you don't want to." That alone gave me the chills, because this family has done nothing but welcome me into their home and stand behind me one hundred percent in any decision I make.
Richard was also fortunate to have known JJ Vance. He recalls fondly memories as a young man of JJ's kindness and sense of integrity.
Jeffery Joseph Vance, also known as "JJ" passed away due to a blood clot. In the short time I knew JJ; I immediately saw he was an amazing person. He exemplified the same qualities as his family. For example, the eighth graders played the sixth and seventh graders in basketball every morning. I remember like it was yesterday when I, an ex-pencil neck, would get picked on by the eighth graders. JJ was the lone eighth grader who would step in and tell them to leave me and my friends alone. That was in fact my very first time meeting JJ. He is gone in person, but will never be gone in our hearts. He was that gentleman that every mother and father wanted their son to grow up and be like. If you associated yourself with JJ, you had no choice but to like, and want to be around him. Everyone at Phillips Middle school and East Chapel Hill High School always respected and enjoyed his company.
Richard credits the Vance family with much of his success, yet it was Richard who worked hard as a student and athlete to achieve the level of success he has. Though he would selflessly point to others when asked how he got to where he is today, Richard deserves to be applauded for his perseverance, his dedication, and his enormous heart.
Many People who know me know that I love to give back to the community and of course the kids. It was "one hundred and fifty percent" the influence of the Vances and how they reached out to me, which guided me in the right direction. For those of you who do not know the Vance family, I promise you, "YOU ARE MISSING OUT" on what it truly means to care for others.
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