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Maryland high school student creates barbecuing business that benefits veterans

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Posted at 12:20 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 13:05:12-04

TOWSON, Md. — Harris Morgan, 15, is a barbecue enthusiast. He's a student at Calvert Hall College High School and in his spare time, he likes to cook.

"I grew up going south every summer, having great food and I’ve kind of incorporated that in my life today by trying to recreate my favorites," said Harris.

He doesn't just make food for himself. He sells his BBQ and makes his own sauces and rubs.

His business is called Semper-Q.

"My dad was a Marine and the Marine saying is ‘Semper Fidelis,’ and ‘Semper Fidelis’ means always faithful. And so, Semper-Q, its meaning is always BBQ and you always gotta be cooking."

A portion of his proceeds goes to a local charity.

"I wanted to choose a military charity and I thought if I did a local one, the money would go directly to the veterans with no strings. Catch-A-Lift was that charity for me. It goes directly to the veterans, to help them."

Catch-A-Lift uses fitness to help wounded combat veterans post 9/11 heal mentally and physically.

"That’s a very specific charity that’s very close to my heart and our family's heart," said Matt Morgan, Harris' dad.

Matt helped Harris find Catch-A-Lift, which was created in honor of Chris Coffland, an Army corporal who was killed in Afghanistan.

The Morgan's met Coffland and appreciated what he stood for, and are proud of their son for what he's doing.

"What he does is a lot of work. Between making the sauces, making the dry rubs... doing all that and he’s really passionate about it and he loves giving food to people or selling food to people. It’s really neat to see the passion in his eyes, It’s a lot of work for him and a lot of work for all of us but we're super proud of him. It's great," said Harris' Mom, Selden Morgan.

His dad added, "I think as parents you hope that you instill some of your traits on your children. 15 years we’re seeing fruits come to bear and he’s passionate about it and he really loves to give back."

Harris has already had a few stands selling BBQ since summer 2020. He plans on doing more throughout the summer of 2021.

"It makes me really happy that I have the ability to make money by doing what I love by making BBQ and selling it and then giving it back to the people helped me be free. Helped me have the opportunity to do this," said Harris.

To follow Harris' BBQ journey, head over to semperqbbq.com. For more on CAL, go to catchaliftfund.org.

This story was originally published by Erin MacPherson at WMAR.