MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Mid-South mother is on a mission to remember the life of her son, killed in an unintentional shooting.
Through tears of mourning, Tara Johnson awarded scholarships Sunday to the five high school seniors in her son's honor.
It's the first reception held in her son's honor.
"The Curtis Johnson Scholarship Foundation was established to honor the life and memory of my son, Curtis Johnson," Tara said. "While also assisting other high school seniors on continuing their education."
This year the finalists received $1,000 scholarships each.
"I am honored to be chosen something that so special and something that can make a cause, make a change, because there's a lot of African Americans dying to senseless violence and we just have to change that," said scholarship recipient Jayden Martin.
The students had to do a face-to-face interview and submit a 500-word essay on how to end gun violence.
"We have to do something different," Martin said. "It's too many people dying senseless deaths. We have to start with us. We can't wait until others make a difference. We have to start with the difference right now in this world."
Now these handful of students are one step closer to completing a dream that Curtis never got the chance to start.
"My son was killed two weeks before he graduated from high school," Tara said. "So he did not get a chance to fulfill his dream to go to school to continue his education to become a computer engineer."
It's turning a mother's pain into a purpose.
For more on how you can sign up for this scholarship or donate to the fund, visit this link.