by: Britney Morgan
While Charles Fitzgerald Ellis, Jr. was faced with overcoming many obstacles during his tenure at South Atlanta High School of Law and Social Justice, he has continued to persevere and focus on accomplishing all of his goals. He has endured several major abdominal surgeries over the last few years and the death of his mother during his senior year. “Those things have certainly weighed heavily on him, but his desire to make something of himself – something that makes him proud – has been extremely strong,” said Thomas Dunn, Law and Justice Teacher at South Atlanta.
After his mother passed, Mr. Dunn and his wife invited Charles to live with them. They have helped to finish his senior year in a positive way and receive needed medical care. “My wife and I love Charles and had been involved in his life before he joined our family,” said Dunn. They have known him since he was a freshman at South Atlanta High School. He shared that Charles has grown into an important member of their family and all six of their daughters have embraced their new brother.
Charles believes that all the adversity, troubles and obstacles in his young life have strengthened him. He says the support he has received from his teachers has increased his dedication towards earning a Bachelor’s degree in economics.
This fall he will begin his journey as a Duke University Blue Devil with a full, four-year academic scholarship. Duke has been his favorite athletic school since he was a child. He loved Coach K and the Blue Devil basketball team. As he began thinking about college he learned that Duke has a great academic reputation as well. The alumni support, academic and community service programs, and the renowned staff were all important factors in his decision to attend Duke. “It’s an amazing school with endless potential for the future, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to attend,” says Charles.
Mr. Dunn describes Charles as a remarkable young man. “There are few people of any age that could weather the storms that have battered his young life – yet he not only perseveres – he prevails,” said Dunn. “In the shadow of adversities, he has chosen to work hard to achieve great things.”
Dunn says that Charles’ acceptance to Duke is a testament to his hard work, strength and perseverance, no matter the obstacle. “We are so thankful that Charles is a part of our family, and that we have become a part of his family – his grandmother, grandfather, sister and brother continue to be very supportive of him.”
Charles has limitless ambitions as he plans to become a successful sports agent and a philanthropist, who focuses on helping to educate impoverished children.
His desire to become a sports agent stems from his love of sports and finance. He wants to help athletes to manage their finances and increase their ability to obtain and sustain wealth.
His ultimate goal is to help children break the cycle of poverty that runs through many families and communities.