GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – By the looks of his resume, Justin Desmet keeps pretty busy for a high school student.
Ranked No. 4 in his class, the senior co-captain on the football team and National Honor Society member has a strong academic standing, composed of honors and Advanced Placement courses, while also volunteering in the community and staying active in leadership programs at De La Salle Collegiate.
On Tuesday, Desmet was recognized for some of his many community service projects, receiving the William H. Lacey Community Service Award from the Grosse Pointe Sunrise Rotary Club. The presentation, which included a $500 gift, took place at The Neighborhood Club in Grosse Pointe.
“I was excited and happy,” said Desmet, of Washington Township. “I felt like I was getting recognized.”
As far as his volunteering goes, Desmet works with MCREST, a local youth football camp, and Summer in the City, which is a youth camp in Detroit. He’s a student organizer for the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk, as well as a math tutor at Margaret Black Elementary and Graebner Elementary in Sterling Heights. He also provides tutoring to some classmates for standardized tests like the ACT and SAT.
Also honored this week by the Sunrise Rotary were Maria Fields (University Liggett), Kaitlyn Mack (Regina), and Mackenna Cherry. Mack is the younger sister of De La Salle alumnus Kyle Mack ’15. She’s also a four-year member of De La Salle’s Wig and Mask Society.
The Rotary award is not the first for Desmet this year. He received a $300 gift from the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Italian American Club of Livonia plans to recognize him with a $1,000 scholarship on March 25.
While the recognition for his work throughout the community is great, ideally, Desmet, who carries a 4.4 grade-point average, would like to receive a different kind of call. Desmet says he will study biomedical engineering in college with the hopes of one day becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
“I’m still waiting to hear from Yale, Duke, and Vanderbilt,” said Desmet, regarding his admittance to those elite universities.
He hopes to hear from them by late March.
De La Salle counselor John Hickey applauds Desmet’s continued commitment to his community.
“Justin is an outstanding young man,” Hickey said, “and I couldn't be more proud of his accomplishments.”
Past De La Salle winners of Grosse Pointe Sunrise Rotary Club awards are Stephen Hart (2013), Matthew Burns (2015), Matthew Held (2016), Matt Orsi (2018), Semaj Shelton (2018), Christian Dean (2019), Joe Pierce (2019), Robert Cornwell (2019), Damian Anonick (2019), Jack Lietzow (2019), and Catino Cammarata (2019).