Recipient Stories


Jessica’s mother was killed, and the crime remains unsolved. Jessica is an only child and sole survivor. Through assistance and guidance from her university victim advocate, she was connected to community resources. Jessica graduated and is now employed in the banking industry.

  • Her scholarship is given in memory of Pat Reed, who was killed on March 23, 1998, by a young man who she had agreed to try and help with his addiction. Her son Christopher Reed was 6 years old and was also killed. Pat’s mother, Agnes Fury, believes that the combination of rage from an early age and crack cocaine contributed to this tragedy. Agnes is committed to trying to make a difference in the lives of very young men and boys, as well as incarcerated men to reduce the level of violence that changes so many lives.
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Ashley sadly lost her brother, who was shot in crossfire of a gang he had left, and her family has struggled to recover ever since. Ashley mentored a young girls step team in the inner city with no positive role models. She hopes to be a positive influence on them. She just graduated college in Virginia.

"Ms. Tuthill I am eternally grateful, forever in your debt, how can I ever repay you?"

  • Ashley’s scholarship is given in memory of Tammy Shields of Fort Walton Beach, who tragically lost her life on June 26, 2011. Tammy loved to travel and in her 34 brief years visited Korea, Germany, Holland, France, England, the Caribbean and New York.


Eliseo’s family owned a neighborhood grocery in the Bronx. At the age of 4, his father was robbed and murdered outside the family grocery store and eventually Eliseo was abandoned by his mother as she struggled to survive.

"The scholarship has helped me stabilize my living situation, be consistent with my grades and serve as the AmeriCorps Service Club President."

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Samantha became a co-victim when she lost her mother in a domestic violence tragedy.

"My mom was the strongest woman I've ever met. She taught me a lot of life, especially the importance of education since she never went to college and led her to depend on my step-father who abused her. She finally saved enough money to leave, but he killed her the night before and may live has never been the same without her love and encouragement every day."

"Receiving this scholarship helps me reach my goal to have a college education to make my mom proud of me without it the financial reality is an obstacle. I love little kids and want to inspire them the same way my mom inspired me and allowed me to believe in myself."

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When Ryenne was 10 years old, she lost her brother, Jami, to homicide on Mother’s Day in 2003. She has worked to find life again and sees life as an opportunity to become someone and change something about one’s self. She attended a College for Arts & Design.

  • Ryenne’s scholarship is given in memory of Mr. Gregg A. Jarrett, R.N., who was killed July 16, 2003 in Miami, FL. Aleta Cortinas, sister of Gregg Jarrett, attended the 2011 POMC conference to become more involved in understanding sibling grief.
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Alexandra was a freshman in college when she lost her father to workplace violence.  Alexandra quilts, and she donated one of her quilts and handmade stuffed animals for the annual fundraiser. Alexandra graduated in 2013, and has a career in the environmental industry.

"I have had to accept his absence would affect the rest of my life and he would not walk me down to the alter to give me away."

  • Her scholarship is given in memory of Mr. Fred Parker, Tallahassee attorney, who was known for his love of music. Mr. Parker was an accomplished pianist and a civic leader. His activities included serving two terms as president of the LeMoyne Art Foundation and serving on the board of the Tallahassee Symphony. Mr. Parker’s life was taken on March 8, 2004. His wife Edna has been involved with the Big Bend Victim Assistance Coalition Victim’s Right Week tribute.


Taryn's sister, Megan, was abducted at age 6 in 1995. Taryn attended university in Arkansas.

  • Taryn’s scholarship is given in memory of my friend Elise Geise, who was abducted in Atlanta, Georgia in 1989 a week before her wedding.


Megan lost her brother, Anthony. He was stabbed by another youth in high school parking lot as he was leaving school. The medical responders and nurses influenced Megan’s decision to become a registered nurse.

  • Megan’s scholarship is given in memory of Dr. Paul S. Jarrett, M.D., who was killed on July 16, 2003 in Miami. Aleta Jarret Cortinas, his daughter, is a nurse and lives in Tallahassee. She is an active member of the Big Bend Victim Assistance Coalition helping local crime victims.


Lauren lives in Ohio, and her young life drastically changed on Feb. 3rd at bedtime, when the family received a call from the Phoenix police to say her father had been murdered as he was carjacked. He was going to start a new job as an international booking director for the Harlem Globetrotters.

"This was the saddest day in my life and this doesn't happen in real life to good people like my Dad.  Something inside all of us was killed."

One of Lauren's favorite quotes is from Mother Theresa: "Death is not the most tragic loss in life. The most tragic loss is what dies inside you while you are still alive."

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Dyllan lost his mother to domestic violence. He lost a father and a mother. His mother was in counseling and getting strong enough to leave the abuse and make a better life for them.

Dyllan made a video called "End the Violence". Through his video,  he was able to reach out to others and explain the grief counseling could help cope with the pain.  He now reaches out to help other children.

Each of the young victims knows the pain of losing their family to violent crime.  They are a light for others as they face their grief by reaching and mentor other young people.



Amber lost her father when someone entered his business early in the morning and robbed him. Two years later enroute to court hearing with her mother someone struck their car and overturned it. Then a few months later at Christmas time someone burglarized their home. She has been a source of strength for her mother and little brother. Her passion is law and she will graduate in 2019 with a law degree. During college and law school she has volunteered and promoted victim advocacy. She is preparing for the bar exam, and her hope is to be a prosecutor.

o Amber’s scholarship is given in memory of the brother of Mr. Dan Levey, Director of the Office of Victims of Crime for the Arizona Attorney General Office. His brother, Howard, was murdered in Phoenix by assailants as he was waiting for his friends to show up for their weekly basketball game.

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       “Ms. Tuthill thank you for the compassion, thoughts and kind words. My dad was always there for me and now I can never see him again. Parents are the foundation of a child's life. From birth to adolescence and even throughout adulthood, parents hold a vital role. My dad was my best friend, my hero, my definition of a true parent. He spent his entire life making sure that my siblings and I would be given a promising future with many opportunities and freedom. He gave us faith, advice, and courage that helped us survive even our toughest times. I graduated a year early from high school with the highest honors, which was the last present I could ever give to my dad.”


Other recipient stories coming next:

Blake, Colin, Aleena, Jesse, Whitney, Kaija, May, Daniel, Victoria, Paul, Jakayla, Chase, Blake, Colin, Patricia