7 Who Care: Keith DuBose

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SARASOTA - In the 7 Who Care application turned in by this honoree's colleagues, they wrote: "He believes in the youth of today as the foundation of tomorrow." It says a lot about who Keith DuBose is, what kind of man he is, and what he means to the community.

Although we're not sure you could ever accurately measure that impact.

On a steamy summer evening, DuBose can be found in his comfort zone: on a football field, working with kids. "Good hustle, good hustle, stay low, stay low, there you go, there you go."

DuBose excelled in the sport as a quarterback at Booker High School. He was recruited by college football powers like Florida, Notre Dame, and Miami -- but chose instead, academic heavyweight Duke. He already knew his future wasn't in football, but in the field of law.

When he was still in high school, he met Sarasota attorney Lamar Matthews, who gave him a part time job at his law firm. It didn't take long for Matthews to know he wanted to hire DuBose after law school.

But he had competition. "He was a real target for some of the big firms from around the country. His mom and I kind of ganged up on him and we were able to have come here and be with us," says Matthews.

After returning to Sarasota, DuBose wasted no time giving back to his hometown. "To whom much is given, much is required. And I've been blessed with different things, and I think if you have those type of blessings, you owe it to those who don't. And even if you think people do have those, you owe that type of responsibility to give back and share that blessing. It’s no good to have a blessing and not share it with others."

Like 11 year old Bryson Jackson. He says Coach Keith is an inspiration in his life. "To me, he's kind of like an idol in some ways; like I want to be a lawyer and I want to help the community.”

"I see him as an uncle to my son, a father he doesn't have, a father figure that he doesn't have in his life...just truly a blessing," says Bryson’s mother, Ebony Hamilton.

"My motivation is just seeing everyone has a chance. I hate to see people when you look around and there's no hope. And that's a part of what we are in our society today is people without hope; they don't have any dreams and they don't look forward to anything and it leads to a lot of despair. And I feel if you have a community that has hope, they have aspirations, they'll look and do better," says DuBose.

DuBose has spread that message of hope to a wide range of charities, offering his time and talents to the United Way, Success by Six, SCOPE, and executive internship programs at area high schools.

He credits the love and support of his parents, Clara and Earnest DuBose, for helping him become the man he is today: role model, coach, husband and father.

But there is one thing -- just one -- where Keith doesn't excel. "He's not very good at basketball. We give him a hard time about that, but he's very good at everything else," says Matthews.