Kelete Sherald & Tsai Zoe
We know him as a top-notch athlete, but his sister knows him as a brother who makes her cereal every morning.
Justin Forde (‘19) is a three-sport athlete who plays football, basketball, and jumps for track and field. Alongside that, he is also ranked nationally for track and field. Most student-athletes just have to worry about school and sports, but Forde has home responsibilities that he has attend to. Everyday, after practice, he has to take care of his sister.
He has built a bond with his 9 year old sister Maliyah that can’t be broken. “It’s more of me being strict with her trying to raise her to be a nice girl because I'm her big brother, but it’s always been like I'm her dad because of how much I’ve been there,” said Forde.
Typically, Forde has 9 hours each day of the week to himself and the rest are for his sister. He tries to set an example for her so that she grows up right. “I try to have fun but also show her the right way to do things,” said Forde. Being the second parent to her, Forde helps with showing her how to carry herself in life. He makes sure to teach her how to properly act in the house and in public.
Being an athlete requires a lot of practice and sometimes he can’t manage to go home early and often spends hours after school. Due to this, Forde had to find a solution to that problem. “I’ve had to bring her to football practices and have her sit on the sidelines. I’ve had to bring her to basketball practices,” explained Forde. Because he has to divide his attention on his sister and practice, he is often distracted.
Justin and Maliyah live with their mom with both of them having different dads. Justin’s dad lives in Florida and Maliyah’s lives in Kansas. His mom has to work a lot, so she is not home all the time. Justin has to dress her, make her breakfast, and take her to the bus stop, all that while focusing on himself and on his study and sports.
Justin Forde is a very gifted athlete. Forde explained how he only trusted a few people in his life because they’ve always been there through thick and thin. “My grandma and grandpa support me with anything I want to do.”
Fordes grandparents have always been there for him, he explained. They always told him to always keep his head up when times get rough because everything is gonna pay off in the end. You can catch his grandpa in the stands for football and basketball cheering on his grandson. His dad is also one of the people that made him the person he is today. “My dad is a big part of my life because I don’t talk to my mom about things I talk to my dad about even though he’s miles away.”
His whole family is supportive and is loud at games, embarrassing him at times. His sister is also there to cheer him on. Through everything, she will always be his number one fan.