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Through Family, Faith, and Teacher Support Justin Bele Succeeds

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

Daytona Beach, Florida native Justin Bell graduated from Seabreeze High School this year and will be attending Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida where he will be playing college basketball

Ms. Estella Bele is the parent of Justin Bell, who is a 2019 graduate of Seabreeze High School. Justin was in Daytona Beach, Florida. His mom expresses how he is literally the joy of her life. In the beginning, when Ms. Bele found out that Justin wound be labeled as hearing impaired, Ms. Bele said that she took him to the doctor. She had taken Justin to the doctor for his torso, where the doctors gave Justin a fifty percent chance of him walking and talking. After receiving the test results, Ms. Bell contacted the Easter Seals Organization. Justin started physical therapy and speech therapy. Justin attended Palm Terrace Elementary School where he learned how to use sign language for his hearing disability.

Doctors implanted Justin with Cochlear implants the day before his third birthday in 2003. Ms. Bele choose to move Justin from Palm Terrace Elementary School to Volusia Pines in Lake Helen. Ms. Bele said this move was a great move for her and Justin. Volusia Pines had great teachers who helped Justin. Ms. Bel said she eventually transferred Justin back to Palm Terrace Elementary. She decided Justin should attend school as a mainstream student so that he could graduate with a standard diploma.

Justin transferred from Palm Terrace Elementary School in Daytona Beach, Florida to Calvary Christian Academy in Ormond Beach, Florida. He attended Calvary from second grade until he entered the ninth grade. During his 8th and 9th grade years, he played on Calvary's varsity basketball team. Justin transferred to Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Florida for his sophomore year. Justin was their sixth man on the varsity basketball team at Seabreeze High School for three years.

It was very tough for Justin and his mother in the beginning not knowing what roads to take. Ms. Bele had a great support system with help from Justin's God Parents Pastor Tony and Pastor Charlene Barhoo. They were very supportive as they made many trips to Nemours Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. While Justin was in elementary school he went once a week for one hour for speech class as he continued his speech classes at Easter Seals and at his school. During this time, he was also very active in extracurricular activities such as baseball, football, ice skating, modeling and acting. Justin has recently began acting classes again, he and his mom choose acting as another way for him to improve his speech skills.

Justin did experience other school kids not seeing him as normal but in his eyes he saw himself as normal. He had to deal with other kids in school who teased him, made fun of him and said mean things to him about his disability.

Not only did Justin persevere, he graduated with a 3.1 GPA. He will be attending Keiser University in West Palm Beach, Florida in September, where he will play basketball for the university.

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