On Feb. 3, Briarwood Academy celebrated the 90th
birthday of Julian Underwood, a volunteer at the school for more than 20 years. In a special ceremony, the school viewed a video about Mr. Underwood’s work at the school
, shared stories from friends and sang “Happy Birthday.” CMS showed their appreciation by presenting a plaque.
When Underwood retired in 1987, he knew that he wanted to dedicate his time to education and Briarwood, the school in his neighborhood. He worked to beautify the school on the outside, pulling weeds and planting beautiful landscapes. As time went on, Underwood found his place as a role model for the students.
Each morning, for several decades, students, staffs, parents and volunteers are greeted by Underwood. He tries to know each student by name. He is a fixture in the Briarwood Young Men’s Club, where he serves as a mentor.
“When I was down he talked me into things,” said fifth-grade student Marcos Lopez. “I love Mr. Underwood. He encourages people to do what’s right. If it wasn’t for Mr. Underwood, I would not be an A student and have respect for my teachers and peers.”
“I always wanted to be a part of education,” said Underwood. “This celebration was awesome. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had.”
Underwood appreciates the students as much as they appreciate him.
“They are a great group of boys and girls,” said Underwood. “I care about every one of them. I try to give them love every day.”