About The Justin Foundation
Established in March 2005, The JUSTIN Foundation is a non-profit corporation. It secures voluntary support and manages, invests, and expends such funds solely for the benefit of the students of the Damascus, Virginia community.
The foundation was established to promote the future success of youth, initially at Rhea Valley Elementary School, Damascus Middle School, and Holston High School, by providing growth opportunities, educational programs, and academic scholarships.
The JUSTIN Foundation is named after Justin Ernest Hamby who died on September 28, 2002, at the age of 19. Justin had a difficult time in school due to a learning disability and was trying very hard to “fit in” somewhere. Despite having a supportive and loving family, Justin made a bad decision one night and died from a fatal dose of methadone. He was a very caring and socially outgoing young man whose loving spirit is missed by many. The mission of the foundation is to reach out to youth in our community, just like Justin, who may be struggling and need guidance and support during the difficult teenage years in S.W. Virginia.
Youth Leadership Programs
The JUSTIN Foundation sponsored 16 Freshman from Holston High in a year-long River's Way leadership program that gave them an opportunity to participate in a groups-initiative course that is designed to build coping skills, leadership qualities, self confidence, and self esteem. The students learn to work hard together to achieve success.
The JUSTIN Foundation was honored by the Virginia Education Association, through the Washington County School System, with the "We Teach the Children" Whole Village Award for its work on behalf of the youth in Damascus area schools.
The JUSTIN Foundation continues to remain focused on its mission, and its early work is having a profound impact on youth in the Damascus area. David Lambert, Vice Principal of Holston High School and the in-school coordinator for the River's Way Program, recently stated, "The JUSTIN Foundation and River's Way, programs have really helped these 9th graders make the transition to high school. It is giving at-risk students the encouragement to improve academic performance, attendance, and behavior. The program is having a major impact."
Washington County, Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman has also been pleased with and supportive of the work accomplished through the JUSTIN Foundation. "The JUSTIN Foundation allows opportunities for students to obtain a college education, who otherwise might be unable to do so. This is a fantastic program," Newman said.
Board of Directors
April Hamby Crabtree - PRESIDENT
Dr. Thomas Luck
Dr. John Roberts
Mary Matlock - TREASURER
Sandy Cook - SECRETARY
Susan Seymore - VICE PRESIDENT