“Since I can no longer celebrate his birthday with him, I will honor his life”, states Ms. Rhonda D. DeVore-Jones.
Her words are very straightforward, poignant, yet powerful and encouraging. In our interview today (April 18th), she is able to take time away during her travels (thankfully, her husband is driving) en route to the 100 Black Men of South Metro (Atlanta) and their “What They’ll See is What They’ll Be” celebration of excellence scholarship dinner to not only capture the impact of her brother, Richard K. DeVore, but the lasting impact he is making through the creation of the Richard K. DeVore Scholarship.
Affectionately known to many as Kenny, DeVore is an active participant in the organization’s Rites of Passage mentoring program. Designed for young men in middle and high school, the focus is to encourage the development of a modern “Renaissance Man”, one who is focused on his development through their academic, community, and personal development. As a by-product of his involvement, DeVore is well-known by his peers as an avid participant and supporter of music, sports, the arts, and most importantly, being a positive resource and presence in the lives of his family members, friends, and community.
At the time of his murder on December 17, 2013, DeVore, who most recently is living in Auburn, AL, is working two jobs with a focus on completing his academic studies. With a handful of classes remaining, he is focused on completing his higher education degree at Tuskegee University.
In working with the 100 Black Men of South Metro (Atlanta) and her brother’s mentors, Ms. Devore-Jones and her family are able to establish the scholarship not only in memory of her brother, but to be able to build upon his spirit and sense of care and compassion for others in helping them to achieve their goals. The recipient of the scholarship (a graduating senior who is an active member of the aforementioned program) is able to receive additional funding to assist with their academic endeavors.
Ms. Devore-Jones notes, “The majority of us understand the struggle of being a college student and worrying about tuition and book money. The purpose of this scholarship is to help alleviate some of that stress. My goal is to raise enough funds that the recipient won’t have to worry about money for books during the 2015-2016 school year”.
Those who have an interest in learning more about the scholarship, as well as their other programs, are encouraged to visit their website. Likewise, those who have an interest in lending financial support (donations) for the scholarship are encouraged to contact the organization at their offices (5334 Old National Highway-Suite 350 in College Park, GA 30349) and make their donations made to the 100 Black Men of South Metro (and list in the memo line the Richard K. DeVore Scholarship).
An online donation option specific to the scholarship is forthcoming.
Investment in one’s community and the lives of the people who reside in is a testament to the level of commitment people have. Even posthumously, through the Richard K. DeVore Scholarship, one’s presence and dedication to these essential principles remains ever-present.
Devore-Jones concludes, “Since my family won’t see him walk across the stage, it’s important to us to help young men trying to achieve their dreams”.
Even in spirit, there’s still a spirit of giving.