Yesterday morning I got the news that an incredible young man who’s life I touched, who touch me with his kindness & helpfulness, just cheerful spirit, was shot & killed Tuesday night. I’m still trying to believe it. Kevin Ambrose, this bright, talented 19 yr old student who used to come to my program, InnovaTeen workshops, events, field trips & I would see grow up before my eyes into a caring, giving, promising young man, is gone.
Reading this article, even in what lead to his death, the fact that he was walking 2 blocks from his house to the ‘L’ to meet a friend because he didn’t want him to walk alone, tells of Kevin’s compassion.
It took me 3 hours to get it together yesterday. Every time I tried to get up and going into my day, I’d sit back down & cry. Just thinking..not him. In thinking of the continuous shootings & deaths, I asked myself & God “what else can I do?”, “what more am I called to do?” because I’m just too tired of seeing these incidents replayed in this city. I can’t take it anymore. My heart is tired of breaking for our children, this is something I refuse to get used to.
And though I am a faithful & God-trusting person, a moment of helplessness, hopelessness, and anguish set in because I’m frustrated in not knowing what more to do, even if I can do more.
My heart longs to do more to protect, nurture, give, love each and every child, but I recognize I am but one person & I can’t do it all, even if I desire to.
At the same time, I can’t fall into despair and think that working, building & lifting up our youth is in vain. No matter what we do, we may lose some, even those most cherished, but they are worth continuing to fight for and create the opportunity their greatness to shine.
As I drove around yesterday, seeing children & youth out walking, enjoying the afternoon dismissed from a half day of school, I couldn’t help but just take in their faces, them talking to friends, their swag as they walked down streets. In each of them I just saw so much possibility, their beauty & uniqueness. I started to tear up as I drove, because I was so touched as I saw in each of them, what I saw in Kevin.
I didn’t know how I was going to get through the day, with such heaviness laid on my heart. As I’ve been working non-stop on various projects and one that gives eighty 16-24 year olds employment for the summer, I had to prepare & facilitate their orientation yesterday evening. I thought about Kevin. I thought about the opportunities and excitement that these youth have and the potential to touch their lives, as he had.
And yesterday two of my friends, Jené & Gina seemed to speak volumes in their encouragement and echoed my thoughts. Despite it all, the craziness that seems to surround us, the losses that almost want to crush our spirit, we can’t stop. We make such a difference and must continue to do so.
When I think of the fact that Kevin gave his life for a friend, it shows how faithful and giving he was and in touching many lives. Even in his final actions, he inspired me, and hopefully you too, to continue to be so, as well.