WACO, Texas — A Waco man charged with shooting and killing his girlfriend in august in was indicted by a grand jury Thursday. On August 14, police said Michael Howard Jr. shot and killed 20-year-old Sakyra Young during a domestic violence incident.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Young’s mother has joined forces to help keep her daughter's memory alive.
Young's death caught the attention of Keith and Tracy Guillory. Keith Guillory met Young through a mentorship program.
"She was always a young lady who had a bright smile,” Guillory said. "Very smart. Very intelligent."
The couple wanted to bring light to a tragic situation. Along with Young's Mother Latoya Wells, they started the Forever Young Scholarship Fund, which will help send Waco ISD students to college.
"We want students to be able to live out their dreams. Sakyra Young did not get the chance to live out her dreams, but through this scholarship students can go forward in the next chapter of their lives," Guillory said.
Young graduated from Waco High School in 2017. Her mother said she was a cheerleader, in National Honor Society and had several scholarships offered to her.
"I’m glad they got that scholarship and they are pushing to help fulfill the dreams of others. There's a lot of people reaching for that," Wells said.
Both Wells and the Guillorys said they are trying to break the silence against domestic violence.
"We want young people to recognize the signs of domestic violence and what that looks like in their lives,” Guillory said. “So maybe we can implement programs in schools where we can talk to young students about the signs of domestic violence.”
Over 10 million people deal with some sort of abuse every year in the United States. The main victims are women 18 to 24.
“It just hurts, and I would hate to see any mother go through something like this. So if I can help anybody, I’m happy to do that,” Wells said.
Only a small percentage of women get medical care from the physical abuse they suffer, but domestic abuse hotlines get nearly 20,000 calls a day. If you or somebody you know is a victim of domestic abuse, please call 1-800-799-7233 or chat with a specialist online.
You can go to the Forever Young Scholarship Fund to donate.
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