A fighting spirit sustains him
Despite Covid-19 and financial instability, Stanley Juste is ready to go the distance
Stanley Louis Juste’s favorite boxing move is his left jab.
The maneuver, designed to keep sparring partners and opponents at a respectable distance, is congruent with his self-evaluation: “I like to maintain my own space. I need it to think. I have always been like that.”
The third-semester Queensborough student respects boxing’s authenticity, discipline, immediacy and one-to-one coaching.
“Boxing is as much about timing, breathing control and relationships as anything else. You have to pick up on physical cues, read someone’s eyes, and get inside their head,” said the 19-year-old Haitian American from Laurelton, New York.
Outside of the gym, Juste, who meditates daily to manage stress, is majoring in Psychology and – at the urging of and support from his close family – is planning on a career in therapy or social work.
It’s ironic, he observes, for someone who once considered himself anti-social.
“My interest in psychology goes back to my childhood. I was a very quiet kid. I would always study my surroundings and environment and question people's actions and motivations,” said the first-generation college student.
His deep concern and empathy for others developed over many years as a primary caregiver to his ailing, Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather.
“He lived with me my whole life and I always took care of him at home. I wanted to do that; it was my choice,”
His grandfather passed away last year.
And then, the pandemic came along.
“Covid-19 added to my family’s existing financial instability. It was a tough time and I missed the outside interaction I had with people I cared about and who cared about me – Queensborough students, advisers, teachers, and tutors.”
His transition to online learning was difficult, but interrupting or not finishing college was never an option.
“My mother and aunties, who have so much faith in me, pushed me. It makes them happy that I will be the first in our family to graduate from college.”
The Queens native expects to finish his Queensborough degree in spring 2021 and continue with a CUNY Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
“I always used to be nervous in social settings, but boxing helps me mange my discomfort. It pushes me to excel. I now know that I have no limits, especially at school, and that I can help people,” he says.
Juste follows the career of 26-year old professional super featherweight/ lightweight Gervonta Davis, who headlines his first-ever pay-per-view match in October. If Davis is successful, says Juste, the boxer will be well-positioned for the next phase of his professional development.
Juste will be well-positioned too, as a successful graduate with a solid Queensborough foundation under his belt.
“I want to be able to help people have confidence and feel positive about themselves. I would love to do that.”
Contact: Michael Donahue or Alice Doyle