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Meet Jeffrey Marcel and Durale Harper of Straight Up Nation in Royse City

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeffrey Marcel and Durale Harper.

Jeffrey and Durale, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Durale and I are just two guys coming from humble beginnings. Met Durale when we were cart pushers at a local grocery store. We hit it off instantly and eventually our friendship grew into a brotherhood. I went the college route and he went the workforce route. We circled back some years later and both realized our calling to help others. We both naturally have compassion for people and try to do whatever we can to help. I always felt like I could do more but never knew how or what that looked like. We started our company D&J Empowerment Group where we speak at schools and mentor the youth. Our passion didn’t stop there. We knew we could do more.

That was how Straight Up Nation was created. With speaking to students at schools and mentoring, we noticed a gap. We met a few kids and families living in situations that just broke our hearts and we wanted to be able to help. So we decided to create our non-profit and make an even bigger impact in our community.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s certainly not been a smooth road for us. It’s been an uphill battle but it has been a rewarding one. We understand we are a small non-profit that not many people are aware of and that makes people hesitant but that doesn’t stop us. God has come through for us every time and this gives us the fuel to keep pushing and striving to do more. Over that last year or so we have been able to build wonderful relationships with those who have volunteered, businesses and other organizations that are helping to expand our reach so we may positively impact as many lives as we can. We have been blessed to be able to do the giveaways and help anyone who is going through difficult times.

Please tell us about Straight Up Nation.
Straight Up Nation is a Non Profit organization that myself and Durale decided to create. Our organization is built to provide tools and resources to anyone who may need help. We are here to help bridge the gap between schools, communities and families, whether that be through thanksgiving meals, bikes for Christmas, Youth Impact Events or community outreach programs. Our Nonprofit is not only giving out a helping hand but we are empowering people to build better lives for themselves and the people around them.

The thing that sets us apart is we don’t just want to be an organization that just shows up one day and disappears the next. We try to help people and families sustain a life that they can build from. So they can improve their lives and situation and be able to share and help someone else who might be going through something similar.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
It’s hard to say but I do hope the trend of people wanting to help others increases. At the end of the day it’s about helping others who are in need.

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