Two Evanston Township High School freshmen were awarded $1,000 scholarships earlier this month from the Dajae Coleman Foundation. Aaron Smith and Jordan Wallace
were this year’s award recipients.
The Dajae Coleman Achievement Award goes to freshman students chosen by humanities teachers for their leadership and “ability to honor the values articulated by Dajae’s life and ethics,” the foundation said in a press release.
Dajae wrote his “belief statement” for his humanities class shortly before he was shot and killed in September 2012.
“My friends and family really care about me, they get me things I need, and they make sure I am always doing good in school,” he wrote. “If I didn't have them, I would probably be very bitter and have a low self-esteem. I probably wouldn't care about my grades either, or anything. I'm very fortunate to have the family I have."
Dajae was killed while walking with friends by a man who thought he was from a rival gang, police say. Dajae had no gang affiliations.
His mother, Tiffany Rice, started the Dajae Coleman Foundation last year to honor her son’s memory.