EEJFI Board President Wesley Jarmon and County Executive Jack Johnson share a moment with Maribel Just Butler, daughter of Ernest Everett Just, during the dedication of the Ernest Everett Just Middle School.
The planning and operations of the Ernest Everett Just Foundation, Inc. (EEJFI) started immediately after its creation in 2002. Even before this organization was incorporated; concerned citizens in the Prince George’s County community created a neighborhood campaign to change the name of the proposed East Central Middle School in Largo, MD. to Ernest Everett Just Middle School. Those citizens also supported all efforts to have this school designated to emphasize the importance of science, mathematics, and technology. The EEJFI had Dr. Just’s family at the dedication of the school and we periodically challenged the students that went to that school with reading and biographical writings on the life of Dr. Just and we emphasized challenges that he met. This gave us the perfect opportunity and safe way to invite students to seriously think about the importance of their education and to begin to chart their career paths.
The EEJFI created an interactive math workbook for elementary students and challenged students that were to enter Ernest Just in the fall to complete the “Why Math” workbook. That workbook was designed to reveal the practicality of math to everyday life and to create a bridge and a pathway from the unknown to a mountain of accomplishments and confidence. The EEJFI arranged for the students of Ernest Just to travel to Baltimore to hear the famed neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson give his “Think: Big” lecture to middle school students. Dr. Carson’s presentation, complete with pictures of hospital settings, was tailored for middle school students and we had Dr. Carson to give awards to students that wrote the best essays on anyone of his books.
The EEJFI petitioned the State of Maryland for funds to create a life-size bronze statue of Dr. Ernest Everett Just to be permanently placed on the campus and in front of the flag pole of Ernest Everett Just Middle School. The legislators voted to spend $150,000 for this statue and the famed artist “Toby” Mendez, the artist of the Thurgood Marshall statue was commission for this project. The Ernest Everett Just Statue was dedicated on August 20, 2010, one week after Dr. Just’s 127th birthday. On August 14, 2015, the statue was enhanced with two plates at the base to honor Dr. Just's scientific and educational legacy. The statue enhancement also celebrated Dr. Just's 132nd birthday and marked a centennial anniversary of Dr. Just receiving the first Spingarn Medal.