West Charlotte HS football player gets special surprise before Christmas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A West Charlotte High School football player has done everything he could for his siblings after their mother died.

On Saturday, he got a special surprise right before Christmas.

Demija Dubose is known as MJ in Jeremy Boone’s leadership program. Boone runs Athlete By Design, which teaches high school students across the country how to be leaders.

Dubose was supposed to be meeting Boone for lunch and to talk about life and leadership. Instead, he was met with an avalanche of early Christmas gifts.

It is all thanks to money raised by a small group of young men from Boone’s Desire to Lead program, which Dubose is also part of. They went behind Dubose’s back and raised $2,500 to buy gifts for him.

The gifts included clothes, shoes and an Apple watch -- things Dubose couldn’t afford and, even if he could, wouldn’t buy for himself.

Thunder Ridge High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is also one of the schools Boone works with as part of his Desire to Lead program. The school also chose to give gifts to all of Dubose’s brothers and sisters as part of its service projects for the program.

>> In the video at the top of the page, Channel 9′s Phil Orban was there for the emotional surprise that was extra special for Dubose.