CHICAGO (CBS) — 35 years ago, Ezekiel Taylor was confronted by three young, armed robbers at 79th and Stony Island.
“He was coming home from church and, just like so many victims today, they’re innocent — they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Tenisha Taylor Bell.READ MORE: CDC: Eviction Moratorium Extended Through The End Of July
Taylor was shot and killed, leaving behind a 5-year-old daughter, Tenisha.
“So this is a way to turn that tragedy into triumph and to give back.”
All these years later, Taylor Bell, a former television news executive, has created a foundation in her father’s honor, the Ezekiel Taylor Scholarship Foundation.
“… to let you all know I believe in you and I want you to make a difference.”
Today, giving a scholarship to DeShawn Thomas, a star student and athlete at South Shore Prep Academy.
“I feel I have a responsibility to academically achieve and represent this scholarship foundation with the grace and dignity that it deserves,” Thomas said.READ MORE: Over 23,000 Unemployment Claims Filed In Illinois Last Week Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The South Shore community has been concerned by the horrific violence it has seen recently. Seven people were killed in three separate shootings less than 12 hours apart last week.
“I wake up and I see seven people killed in South Shore and I’m wondering why, what has happened?” questions Taylor-Bell.
Violence has touched Thomas’ family as well.
“I know how much it can impact the family,” he said
Taylor Bell now lives in Atlanta, but she grieves over the suffering in her hometown and is trying to do something about it.
“I live and breathe Chicago. Chicago’s in my heart,” she said.MORE NEWS: Woman Stabbed Near CTA Green Line, Police ID Suspect In Stabbing Death Of Anat Kimchee
Taylor Bell said she is trying to reach teenage boys that are the same age as the gunmen who killed her father.