It has been one year since 13-year-old Kevin Miller was murdered on his way home from school, but his mother remembers it like it was yesterday.
It was Oct. 9, 2009, and Donna Greaves’ son, a bright student who always strove to help his community, was walking home from his school in Cambria Heights when a stray bullet allegedly fired by a gang member hit him in the head at the corner of Linden and Springfield boulevards, according to police.
After that moment, when her life changed forever, Greaves vowed she would not let her son’s death be in vain. And so last weekend she and hundreds of other people honored the young man at a luncheon at which the Kevin Lamont Miller Foundation awarded a series of scholarships to borough students.
“It has been a very emotional day,” Greaves said of Saturday’s event at Antun’s Catering Hall in Queens Village. “We had close to 300 guests. It means my son’s life stood for something. If I could talk to him, I’d say, ‘Look at how everyone came together for you.’ This says something about him as a person.”
At Saturday’s four-hour event, the foundation gave out five academic scholarships. People danced, sang and cried as they remembered Kevin, a boy who took pride in his good grades, routinely volunteered in the community and was a gifted athlete.
Shanique Champagnie, who is studying biology at York College with the hopes of becoming a doctor, said she was honored to receive one of the scholarships.
“The scholarship means a lot to me,” said Champagnie, who attended Campus Magnet High School with Kevin. “Not only will it help me in my academic progress, but it helps us to remember Kevin.”
St. Albans resident John Jenkins, a freshman at Delaware State University, said the scholarship makes him want to do his absolute best to honor Kevin, with whom he, too, attended Campus Magnet.
“It keeps his memory alive,” John Jenkins’ mother, Regina, said. “This honors him not for the tragedy but for the good he did in his life. It’s not about his death, it’s about his life.”
Todd Feurtado and Lance Feurtado, of the King of Kings Foundation in South Jamaica, which received a $10,000 grant from the state that they gave to the KLM Foundation for the scholarships, said the community is working hard to curtail violence throughout Queens. State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) worked to ensure the group received the grant.
“When we lost Kevin, a community lost Kevin,” Lance Feurtado said. “That’s why we all came together.”
The two said their organization, King of Kings, is working on reducing violence in Queens by providing outreach workers, promoting education and raising community awareness.
“We have to get back to the philosophy of caring and respecting one another,” Lance Feurtado said.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2010 Community News Group
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