The Forever Young Scholarship Fund awarded eleven scholarships on Sunday in honor of Sakyra Young.
WACO, Texas — SaKyra Young would have celebrated her 23rd birthday on Sunday, but instead her family and community are keeping her legacy alive with a scholarship.
“She was a very smart, funny, very sweet young lady,” said Latoya Wells, Young’s mother.
Young died in August 2020 after police said she was shot by her boyfriend.
Young graduated from Waco High School in 2017. Wells said she was a National Honor Society cheerleader and wanted to further her education by attending college.
Since she was unable to pursue her dreams, Young’s family wanted to help others pursue theirs and also raise awareness about domestic violence.
Keith and Tracy Guillory teamed up with Wells to create the Forever Young Scholarship Fund.
“With this organization that we have for her, it kind of helps alleviate some of the pain, because it’s like turning pain into purpose,” Wells said.
The foundation is designed to break the silence of domestic violence and also raise awareness of the national problem.
The foundation also offers scholarships to send Waco ISD seniors to college.
2021 was the first year that scholarships were awarded. Two high school students received $500 scholarships in Young’s honor.
This year, the foundation was able to award 11 scholarships of $500.
Waco High School Scholarship Recipients
- Elisha Sriram
- Montserrat Serrano
- Avi’onne Thomas
University Secondary School Recipients
- Kasie Rodriguez
- Daylen Sauls
- Enrique Rojo, Jr.
- Saul Rangel
- Elizabeth Sanchez
- Karen Salazar
- Victoria Linares
- Diana Villagomez
The scholarship keeps Young’s legacy alive, raises awareness about domestic violence, and also invests in the future generation.
“Through the scholarship, I honor SaKyra’s life, all that she means to this community, and this foundation is an extension of that,” said Elisha Sriram.
Sriram plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in business.
Montserrat Serrano also plans to attend Texas A&M University to study kinesiology.
She is grateful to the Young/Wells family for helping her pursue her dreams.
“I’m beyond grateful,” she said. “Going to A&M was kind of like a maybe because I felt like I didn’t know if I could afford it.”
His future is now closer with the help of the Forever Young Scholarship Fund.
Avi’onne Thomas says she applied because she knows the impacts of domestic violence.
“I know a lot of people who have faced domestic violence and so it really meant a lot to me personally,” she explained.
Thomas plans to go to college to become a nurse. She hopes to be able to help everyone she can, including those who may have experienced domestic violence. She believes Young’s story could be an example for others.
Wells tells 6 News that domestic violence happens everywhere and there is no age limit, which is why she will continue to advocate for him.
For the good of others, but also for her SaKyra.
“I just think there needs to be more awareness brought to it because it’s happening more in a lot of teenagers’ lives and a lot of parents don’t know about it,” Wells added.