ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Several Rochester students are getting a head start towards funding for college or job training after high school.
Celebration of Life Community Inc. awarded four sixth grade students from Enrico Fermi School 17 with the Tyshaun Lamar Cauldwell Memorial Scholarship.
Bishop Dr. David Singleton says the scholarship is named after a former School 17 student whose life was tragically cut short after he was struck by a stray bullet in 2001.
"Tyshaun was a very notable student, a stellar student if you will,” Singleton said. “We believe that even though he is going. We can honor his memory. From what he has done, he is still inspiring others today through this scholarship award and other things."
Singleton explained that each of four students given scholarships on Saturday exemplified one of Tyshaun's four key traits.
For Ro'niyah Bentley, it was academics.
"It feels great to get this scholarship,” Bentley said. “I worked hard for this and no matter how hard it gets. I keep pushing and that's why I'm here."
Karina Peterson highlighted Tyshaun's love for art.
"I want to give confidence to everyone else who is doing art,” Peterson said. “They can do it. They can do it."
D'Zaria Penn was awarded for citizenship.
"It feels amazing and it means the world because now I can focus on becoming a teacher,” Penn said.
Gabriel Almestica showcased his sportsmanship.
"It's a great honor to have a scholarship because where he got shot, I have lived since I was born,” Almestica said. “So it is a great honor to have in memory of Tyshaun."
Charlotte Freeman, Tyshaun's mother, also made an appearance at the ceremony.
"It's been 20 years and he would have been 30,” Freeman said. “I miss him dearly. But everyone keeps him alive, so I appreciate it.”
Singleton added that each of the scholarships are now put into a trust savings account where their families can continue to add to it until they graduate from high school.
"If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life,” Singleton said. “And so for these youth, as they come to identify your passion and they pursue them, they can have awesome careers, thoroughly enjoying it and make a meaningful difference and impact in our society."
Rochester City Council Vice President Willie Lightfoot was the ceremony's key note speaker.