Embarker of the Week: Justin Macklin

Justin Macklin ForWeb

Justin Macklin, 2018 Embark Graduate

What are you doing these days to earn your keep? (As in, where do you work and what’s your job title?) I am currently a Pharmacy Manager at Walgreens in which I counsel patients, provide immunizations, review and verify prescriptions, and etc.; along with managing the pharmacy operations, staff, scheduling, and inventory.

Where are you planting the seeds of your passion(s) in Memphis and why? I have many seeds of passion throughout Memphis. I periodically volunteer for MIFA where I mainly contribute to meals on wheels to help some of the needy Memphians throughout the year. I also mentor young men throughout my old neighborhoods because I know how easy it can be to go down the wrong track or even be at the wrong place in a bad scenario. I look back on the positive influences on my life and realize that it's a good probability that I would not be where I am without them steering me where I needed to be. I feel obligated to pour back into the community and be a positive influence. My oldest "mentee" is about to graduate undergrad and has an eye for business and entrepreneurship. He calls me his big brother everywhere we go like we're blood family and I wear that title gladly. Knowing that you have an impact on someone's life brings a sense of purpose that is like nothing else. Lastly, I also have a passion for reducing recidivism in which I am currently working on a project to bring that passion into reality. I know many incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals and I have seen with my own eyes how hard it can be to find opportunities for these individuals. There are returning citizens that just want a second chance and even some that were innocent that just want to be on the right track with their freedom.

What have you done to promote self-care and positive energy during this time? To promote self care, I pray and meditate most mornings and/or nights. I also try to do some form of exercise at least twice weekly (currently sore from 7 competitive games of basketball on the concrete!). I have also been reading a lot more and staying in touch with friends and relatives more often while working the same hours. I've been planning my time more deliberately.

What plans do you have once the world opens back up to our new normal? Once the world opens up, I'm going to spend even more time with grandparents and hug them tight this time. I also want to get some overseas travel in...Bae said I owe her a trip.

Let’s end the debate: Whose BBQ are you digging into after quarantine? (i.e. Memphis’ best) Memphis' best Barbeque is.... my grandfather's BBQ. I said what I said! 

What parting words do you have for your fellow Memphians during this challenging time? My parting words would be: "Hard times in life are either for you to learn, grow, or re-evaluate. Either way use that time wisely and treat as an opportunity to do one of those 3 things."

What priceless gem did you takeaway from your Embark experience? The priceless gem that I took away was that there are many more advocates for Memphis than I ever realized. Me being born and raised in Memphis, I was somewhat stuck in a bubble and it seemed as though not that many people cared about my city. Once I joined Embark, I was ashamed of how oblivious I was to all the resources and programs. Not to mention the myriad of individuals that were Alumni or associated with Embark and New Memphis all working for the betterment of Memphis.

Nominate a young professional for Embark here.