This site, and it's mission of World Peace, is dedicated to Justin Carr.
Justin was a beautiful, and promising, young man whose life was cut short on February 22nd, 2013 during a swimming workout at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, California.
Justin's greatest wish was for World Peace.
On this site are memories of this gentle soul, and opportunities to further advance his goal of World Peace.
May his example serve as a vehicle for the rest of us to contribute to that goal.
Let our lives be inspired by his, and pass it on to those we meet and in how we live.
We will love you always and forever.
Sing and dance often with Gendaddy, Bommie, Papa and Grandma Melvia.
God Bless you.
Dad and Mom
Who was Justin Carr?
Sunrise: September 13, 1996 Sunset: February 22, 2013
School: Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, California
Justin was a vibrant, happy, artistic and athletic 16-year old, 11th grader who attended Harvard -Westlake (H-W) School in Studio City, California.
On February 22, 2013 Justin...
• Woke up happy
• Ate his normal gourmet breakfast of fresh bagel, quiche and fruit, that was prepared by his mother, who, along with his father, adored him
• Said goodbye to his parents before boarding the school bus
• Attended all of his classes: US History, Precalculus, Honors Geology, Spanish IV, English III, Chamber & Jazz Singers, and Drawing & Painting II.
After school, he...
• Met with his Math Teacher about taking AP Calculus AB next year
• Assisted the Technical Theatre Director installing the finish floor for the upcoming dance production, “Colors”
• Helped in the Costume Department for “Colors”
• Got ready for swimming practice, because his next meet was on March, 2, 2013
• Called his Mother around 3:10 p.m. with a jubilant demeanor and confirmed his evening plans to ride the bus home with his friend Molly so that they could attend the Pasadena City College production of Hairspray. Molly’s mother was directing this play.
• Danced and sang with his teammates to Beyonce’s song, "End of Time" prior to diving into the pool.
Soon after he completed his normal workout, Justin became distressed in the pool and was unable to be resuscitated. Later his family and physicians discovered that Justin had an undiagnosed heart condition called, Idiopathic Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy:
idiopathic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (iˈ•dē•ō•paˑ•thik hīˈ•per•trōˑ•fik karˈ•dē•ō•mī•ˑ•p•thē),
Idiopathic means that the cardiomyopathy occurs with no discernible cause. Cardiomyopathy refers to diseases of the heart muscle. These diseases have a variety of causes, symptoms, and treatments.
According to the American Heart Association:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is very common and can affect people of any age. About 1 out of every 500 people has this type of cardiomyopathy. It affects men and women equally. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in young people, including young athletes.
PUSD Gifted & Talented Education (GATE) Program
McKinley School Productions:
3 Piggy Opera, Aliens Ate My Teacher, Alien
Wizard of 0z, Munchkin, A Muppet Christmas Carol - 2003
The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, 50's Dance Revue, Nutcracker - 2004
Aladdin, Lion King, 60's Dance Revue, Annie - 2005
Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, Dance for the Ages Revue - 2006
Marcus Flye Production, Snow White, Doc
Pasadena YES: Basketball Team, Center & Soccer Team
LA Master Chorale Voices From Within, Choir Member
The Man Who Came to Dinner, Choir Boy - 2008
Romeo and Juliet, Balthasar - 2009
Auntie Mame, Ralph - 2009
Annie, Burt Healy - 2010
Grease, Roger - 2011
Fiddler On The Roof, Avram - 2011
Oklahoma, Slim - 2012
Saint Marks Episcopal Church, Altadena, Chorister & Acolyte
7th Grade Boys Choir
Jazz Singers; Tenor Section Leader
Member of SAG·AFTRA
TV: NCIS, The West Wing, The Bill Maher Show, 1321 Clover
TV: Commercial with Carmelo Anthony
Movies: Santa Clause 3 -The Escape Clause, Norbit
USA Swimming Junlor Olympics, Silver Medalist
Rose Bowl Aquatics Swim Team, Member
John Hopkins center for Talented Youth (JHCTY). Member
Harvard-Westlake Team Sports:
Water Polo Team
Harvard-Westlake and Community Involvement:
Spectrum, Head of Feature Section
Summer Enrichment Program
Habitat for Humanity, New Orleans
Black leadership Awareness Cultural Club, Junior Class Leader
Created Architect Club
PEF Summer Enrichment Program (PUSD), Volunteer
Armory Center for the Arts, Volunteer
Institute for Educational Advancement, Yunasa Camper
Frank D. Parent Elementary (LAUSD), Second look Saturday Volunteer Tutor
California State Summer School for the Arts, Theater Program
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Summer Career Architect Program
Wesleyan University Center for Creative Youth, Technical Theatre Design
Choate-Rosemary Hall Summer Program
ACT/SAT College Entrance Exams, scored top 95%, Fall 2012
His parents Darrell and Susan Carr raised Justin in Altadena, California. From an early age, he always had a passion for the visual and performing arts.
He embraced drawing and painting, photography, acting, singing, dancing, architecture and technical theatre design. He also was a Jr. Olympic Swimmer - and his best stroke was the butterfly. He even had the wonderful opportunity to meet Olympic Gold Medalist, Jason Lezak when Justin won an essay contest as a member of the Rosebowl swim team prior to the 2008, Summer Olympics. See the letter, below, that Justin wrote in 2008 when he was in the 7th grade.
At school, Justin was a Student Ambassador for prospective students, a member of the Swim & Dive Team, a Leader in the Black Leadership and Culture Club, a Section Leader in Chamber Singers, a member of the Jazz Singers and an artist in the Drawing and Painting class. He also performed in a variety of theatrical and television productions, volunteered as a student Assistant for the H-W Summer Enrichment Program, and he started the first Architecture Club.
In his neighborhood, Justin volunteered for the Altadena Food Bank, the Armory for the Arts, Pasadena Education Foundation and for the Cold Weather Shelter in Pasadena, California. He also was an acolyte and choir member for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Altadena, CA.
In January 2013, Justin listed his character straits that made him stand out above his peers. He listed creative, skillful, observant, sensitive and helpful. One of his dreams was to use his talents to benefit others. Last year, he spent a week in New Orleans helping to build homes for Habitat for Humanity. Throughout his short life, Justin was the steadfast supporter of the underdog. He stood up for what was right, regardless of the social consequences. He also stood by his friends and supported them in a variety of ways.
During the blessing at a family gathering when Justin was 4 yrs old, he prayed for World Peace. At his Celebration of his Life services, his father Darrell, challenged everyone to realize Justin’s dream and help to achieve World Peace. This can start with one smile at a time, helping someone, or even including someone in your circle.
Justin wrote the following on an application for a 2013 Summer Program:
Describe your hopes and plans for your future education and career. What experiences motivated or influenced these hopes and plans? If you feel indecisive about your goals, explain the reasons for your indecision.
After graduating from High School, I plan on attending college in order to broaden my educational and social horizons. Although I am not totally set on a certain career path, my interests in Architecture, Design, Theatre, and Education are strong contenders. They have been passions of mine and they have each played such significant roles in my life. As I think about career, I do not want to limit myself especially if many opportunities arise for me. I have always been taught that being versatile is one of the greatest traits you can have because you will never know when you will need a certain skill in life. Since I have many interests in various visual and performing arts, these have been most meaningful because they have all have allowed me to view aspects of life in a more practical yet creative manner.
One goal that I am certain I want to achieve is to be able to give back and share my talents to those less fortunate than me. I see many kids in my neighborhood that lack an outlet to be successful or a place where they can seek the help that they can't get in school or at home. I have lived a very fulfilling life so far, and I thank my family and friends for consistently supporting me throughout my journey. Though my life experiences are different in many ways from other people my age, I feel that all kids and teens should be able to grow up in a supportive and healthy environment. I have often thought about the idea of creating an after school program for neighborhoods where kids are not exposed to the arts. Artistic education is becoming harder to find especially in public institutions, even though I feel it is very important for a child's development. I would create this free program that would provide a place for kids to go who would otherwise be on the streets. Through classes, seminars, and instruction, the students attending the program would be immersed in visual and performing arts, allowing them to have another outlet to express themselves. I would also want there to be a space where students can work and seek help on their daily academics. There is an abandoned historical theatre in my neighborhoods. I found the floor plan online and I know how I would make the interior renovations to make it a perfect fit for my programs
One of the most important teaching tools that I would instill in the students is that they control their future and that their opportunities are endless. My parents made me realize this when they let me apply to schools out of my neighborhood. Though it seemed unlikely that my transition to a different area would be smooth, I found an educational institution that has made me really see the vast possibilities that are ahead of me.
Realizing this goal would mean so much to me because the arts have shaped who I am in all ways. I owe it to the teachers who taught me to think creatively, analytically, and critically. I feel that the creation of this program would be a sufficient expression of gratitude for all of the personal growth they allowed me to experience.”
Justin Carr January 8, 2013
Letter to Jason Lezak
June 11, 2008
Dear Jason Lezak,
“Take your marks, go!!!”
Those will be the last words that you will hear before you become the gold place winner for the fifty and one hundred freestyles in this years Olympics.
I have been really excited and proud to know that our team is here to sponsor you in your quest to stand on that first place podium in Beijing. I have said very few hellos to you and I know little about you, but I do know that you are a great guy and that you have a passion for swimming like me.
I want to wish you good luck in the prestigious event of going to the Olympic Trials. I am quite sure that you will do well and I am really looking forward to seeing you on TV. I look up to you and I can’t wait to tell my friends and family that I was on the same team as an Olympian that has a new goal every time he succeeds. An Olympian that is a great role model to younger and older swimmers and an Olympian that tried his best all of the time. Thank you so much for giving me this exciting opportunity and I wish you good luck again.