SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- “I remember Medina. [She was] a very, very kind and loving person,” said Judy Atchinson, the founder and owner of X-Quest Inc.
Atchinson dedicates her life to helping youth. Medina Knowles was one of them.
“I hadn't seen her since she was pregnant. She used to come and bring her younger brother and two sisters,” said Atchinson.
Atchinson created X-Quest in 1993 to help children by feeding them, providing them with shelter and recreational activities, and helping them work through their problems.
“Everything we do is free, so we are a perfect place for street kids to come. There is never a charge. There is always inclusion,” Atchinson said.
Medina participated in the programs at X-Quest, including ballet lessons. Those are the memories Atchinson wants to remember about the 17-year-old, who was killed in her home last Thursday. Police have arrested and charged her 19-year-old boyfriend, ReaQwan Stover, with her murder.
“We do have domestic violence issues in this city, but this is also children killing children,” said Atchinson.
Although Atchinson can't help but wonder if she could have done more, she feels peace knowing Medina tried to live by a positive message.
“When I saw her Facebook page that [read] 'empower, forget the hate, learn to love,' it made me feel that maybe we had some influence on her life,” Atchinson said.
The mission of X-Quest will continue in hopes that sad stories like Medina's can be prevented in the future.
“You can't take the world in, but you can take some of it, and Medina was part of my world for quite a long time,” said Atchinson.