Georgia man pays it forward with scholarship for fatherless student

“I would dream of running around the yard playing tag with my dad, yet the reality is I could never do any of these things with my dad because I did not have the opportunity to know him,” said Demetrius Howard as he sat at the kitchen table reading a student’s story.

It’s a story Demetrius knows all too well.

“I seen that other people were going through some of the things that I was going through in life and it really humbled me to see that, and be able to help others,” said Demetrius.

When he was only three months old his father was shot and killed.

“I think growing up without a father could impact anyone’s childhood,” said the Newtown High School graduate. For months, he has been preparing to present an award to a hard-working senior. With the help of his supporters, Demetrius will award an African American male student, who has lost their father to gun violence, with $1,000, a computer, and a printer.

“I hope he’s happy. I hope he’s very excited, as excited as I am,” said Demetrius.” I created this scholarship to help a victim who is striving against the statistical image of the minority youth.”

Several students submitted their stories in hopes of being chosen.

“Reading the letters, it was like wow, like there are so many other people who are faced with the same challenge,” said Demetrius’ mother Tamika Grahm.

That young man is Jayden Snip, who attends Newton High School just as Demetrius once did.

“To know someone in my community who walked the same halls as I did, it brings closure and lights to what I went through, and what I grew up with the, the obstacles I had to face as well,” said Jayden. He says the scholarship means a lot to him knowing he’s not the only one who went through a similar experience.

As for Demetrius, he plans on raising money for next year. Always hoping that somewhere his father is proud.

“Knowing that my father was looking at my every action, that’s what motivated me to stay on the right track,” said Demetrius.