Jayvon Hammond of 131st Avenue was remembered as a student at magnet school IS 231 who got good grades despite a penchant for talking in class, a son who helped his mother with chores once he dispensed with the usual teen objections and a family member who was respectful but also a bit of a clown."He was very outgoing, very friendly, very helpful to his mom," said Brenda Brooks, who works with the teen's mother as a registered nurse. She stood under blue skies outside Jamaica's Shiloh Baptist Church, unable to get into a service that was already packed with hundreds of well-wishers, some of whom arrived on chartered buses from Philadelphia and North Carolina.Inside, the mood alternated between tears and foot-stomping gospel hymns followed by powerfully delivered Bible verses."Do not be discouraged, do not lose hope and do not lose faith," said Elyse Maniece of Jamaica's Rising Star Baptist Church, which the 14-year-old and his family attended. "For Jayvon, it's just the beginning."In addition to following the latest clothing fashions, Jayvon loved to dance, those who knew him recalled. In his honor, students from his dance class performed several emotional routines after IS 231 Principal Robert Brisbane delivered his remarks with School District 29 Principal Leon Dash and Region 3 head Judith Chin looking on."There was so much talent not yet realized," Brisbane said of his first thoughts after the accident. But then he realized the mark that Jayvon, an eighth-grader, had left at the school despite having only transferred there this year. "He was a good one," Brisbane said simply.Jayvon was killed Monday after he darted out from between two stopped buses near the corner of Merrick Boulevard and Baisley Boulevard and was struck by a pickup truck. The driver, who was not charged, had no time to stop, police said.Standing outside her home Sunday, Jayvon's mother, Denita Rivin, said her son had missed his stop and apparently was running across the street to catch a bus heading back the other way. She later spoke to the pickup truck driver on the phone."I just said I know it's not his fault and he must be devastated and we don't hold any animosity against him," she said. "It could have been any one of us." The driver asked to come to the funeral and she agreed, although she was not sure if he ended up doing so.Rivin said her son baby-sat his younger sister, helped out elderly neighbors and was someone who made others laugh. Shortly before his death, he played a karaoke-equipped keyboard and imitated Ray Charles, sending his family into stitches."I called him Mr. Personality," she said.Jayvon's 19-year-old sister, Chante Kennedy, called him "Poppi" because his stomach would stick out when he ate as a little child, much like an old man's belly."He was my baby," she said, displaying a recently acquired tattoo with the words "Poppi" and "RIP."At the accident scene, a memorial to Jayvon was quickly placed, with a second expected soon at the school. His family will attend graduation in May and get his diploma."He kept us going," Rivin said. "He'll definitely be missed."In addition to his mother and sister, Jayvon is survived by his father, stepfather, stepmother, other sister, brother and two stepsisters. He was buried Saturday at Rose Hill Cemetery in Linden, N.J.Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2005 Community News Group
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