Slain Chicago Boy Inspiration For Boarding School Project

(CBS) — A Chicago social worker, touched by losing one of her students to gun violence, decided she had to do something about it.

Twelve-year-old Ryan Banks was special to her. So special, she is building a school in his honor, the first tuition boarding school in Chicago.

CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports.

Just a day before the NATO summit here in May 2012, Ryan was shot and killed outside his home on the South Side.

Valerie Groth was his social worker for years.

She has preserved the last project she did with Ryan, his “vision board.”

“It’s the inspiration for me to keep going with this project,” Groth says.

It’s Chicago’s first tuition-free boarding school: Ryan Banks Academy, a safe haven for children.

Groth has spent the last two years recruiting a team.

Groth, who worked on Chicago’s South Side for seven years, wants a safe place for students to study and live. His aunt, Bridgette Banks, thinks it’s a great idea.

“With this school, part of Ryan can continue to live on,” she says in a promotional video.

If funding comes in, the school is set to open in the fall of 2017 – a class of 20 seventh-graders.

A location is still being decided. There will be an application and interview process for prospective students.

For more information, click here.

 

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