Resident gives back, donates pizzaPublished 7:47pm Saturday, April 27, 2013
The general manager for Domino’s Pizza in Selma is delivering some free pies in hopes to help others in town and stop young people from making the same mistakes he did.
James Steele Jr. stepped into the GM position at the pizza eatery on Highland Avenue seven months ago and he has big goals for the community in mind other than making a profit.
“He delivers eight free pizzas to the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center and to the Perry Varner Educational Treatment facility,” Perry Varner director Marcus Hannah said. “It has been a wonderful thing to use as a reward for the kids for their good behavior.”
Thursday, the juveniles from Perry Varner along with Hannah and Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard gave Steele a certificate for his contributions to the facilities — to thank him for the reward he has given them for their hard work while in detention.
Steele said he was a school drop out before he got to the seventh grade but at the age of 33, he decided to turn his life around and pursue an education. He went to Wallace Community College and received his GED as well as two associate degrees.
He later went the University of Alabama to receive a bachelor’s degree in human and environmental sciences.
“It took me seven years working full time and going to school full time and taking care of a family to get the degree,” Steele said. “My circumstances caused me to be in the situation I was in, but I wanted more, and wanted better for me and my family, and that’s what got me to the point where I am now.”
Steele said he wants to give back to the community, especially to the youth in Selma so that they will know the value of hard work and education. In addition to delivering to the county’s juveniles facilities, he employs teens for their first job and teaches them all about the work force.
“With this being their first job, I want them to understand that when you step out here in this workforce, people are expecting things from you,” Steele said, “We want the best out of you here and I treat them as adults and as professionals — I really want them to learn their craft.”
When Hannah called Steele to come out and tour the juvenile facility, Steele said he knew then how he could give back to the community.
“I’m one to believe that children are our future, and if we don’t do something about educating them and helping them get to that next step, then they will fall by the wayside and we will be the ones to suffer,” he said.