EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — The mother of a slain Evanston high school student is honoring his memory, by providing scholarships to two teens who walk the path her son would have traveled had he survived a shooting in 2012.
WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports Tiffany Rice believes providing scholarships to others is one way to keep alive the memory of her son, Dajae Coleman, who was shot and killed on Sept. 22, 2012, by a gang member hunting someone else.
Rice said she’ll be awarding $1,000 scholarships to Evanston Township High School freshmen Aaron Smith and Jordan Wallace, because they share her son’s family-centered outlook.
“When I think about giving up, and just throwing in the towel, I just think about him and keeping him alive,” she said.
She said the scholarship program is one thing that keeps her from climbing into bed, and pulling the covers over her head.
“My job is to forward Dajae’s legacy, and that keeps me going. That gives me my strength,” she said.
She will present the scholarships to Aaron and Jordan on Sunday at Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge. In an effort to fund a foundation to provide the scholarships every year, Rice will auction off a pair of shoes Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah wore in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
Coleman, 14, was an outstanding student and athlete when he was gunned down while walking home from a party.
Prosecutors have said the alleged gunman, 22-year-old Wesley Woodson had recently found out his cousin had been stabbed, and was looking for revenge, but shot at the wrong group of people, killing Coleman.
Woodson is being held without bond at Cook County Jail, pending trial.