The threat of rain couldn’t keep more than 100 Love City residents from celebrating what would have been Javon Jade Alfred’s twelfth birthday at the JJ Fun Day on Saturday, May 23, at the Winston Wells ball field. “JJ,” as he was affectionately known to friends and family, was killed on December 22, 2004, when he was struck by a delivery truck as he walked home from a school Christmas party.
JJ’s mother, Deverell Alfred, has hosted the JJ Fun Day yearly since the boy’s death to remind residents that good can come out of tragedy.
“I did this because even though a tragic accident happened, this is a way of making something good out of something bad,” said Alfred. “I want to celebrate the seven years I had him, and to remind people that sometimes you have to take the time to remember what’s important in life.”
Children enjoyed games, prizes and two large inflatable bouncers at the fun day. Members of the community served up popcorn, hamburgers, hot dogs and sodas.
The St. John Rotary announced the winner of its Javon J. Alfred Memorial Scholarship at the fun day – none other than JJ’s older brother, Malik Stevens.
“I would like you go to Georgetown and make everybody proud,” Alfred said to her son upon hearing he had earned the scholarship.
Stevens will attend Georgetown in the fall and has not yet decided on a major; however he is interested in engineering, he explained.
“I feel great,” Stevens said of being awarded the scholarship named for his younger brother.
The scholarship is a $12,500 four year renewable award sponsored by the St. John Rotary. Stevens will be given $5,000 his freshman year, $3,500 his sophomore year, $2,500 his junior year and $1,500 his senior year.
Despite Stevens’ relationship to the scholarship’s namesake, he was chosen for the award based on merit alone, explained B.J. Harris of the St. John Rotary.
“We based our choice on academics, an essay, an interview, community service and financial need, and Malik’s score was the highest,” said Harris. “We went into it knowing we’d have to be exact with our calculations, and it was easy because he got the highest score. Malik is an extraordinary young man.”
Second place finalist Zaid Sewer was awarded a $2,000 scholarship, Harris added.
Alfred was thrilled to see her son awarded the scholarship, she explained.
“I feel excellent,” said Alfred. “It’s really special. One of my own gets to go to college in his brother’s name.”