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Thank you for checking out the first official Melanin Monday post! On this Melanin Monday post, I would like to introduce you to Justin. Justin is a true example of someone who has overcame adversity. Born into a broken home, raised by his mother for part of his life and then his father for the later half, Justin had a front seat view of crime, pain, parental incarceration, and poverty. Following his high school graduation, Justin enlisted in the United States Army where he grew his passion for cooking in the midst of being deployed and fighting wars. Prior to serving in the military, Justin worked at restaurants such as McDonald’s and other restaurants that one would often perceive as less desirable.

Be inspired

During and after his service in the military, Justin battled with depression and PTSD. Despite witnessing and engaging in war activities that the average human does not encounter, Justin persevered. Even when his world appeared to be against him, his attitude and tunnel vision allowed him to keep pushing forward. Today, Justin works as a Sous Chef at The Palm Restaurant in Philadelphia. Who would have thought that this poverty driven boy who was struggling to finish high school, would have become a talented Sous Chef at the young age of 27? He did! If it’s one thing that I have learned from our decade of friendship, it’s this: Never give up & perceive every position in life as an opportunity to a great future. 

You can follow Justin’s food journey via Instagram @justin_time407

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