COLUMBIA — A scholarship fund has been started by friends of Jarrett Mosby, an MU student killed on Christmas Eve who left behind a 6-year-old son.
In less than a week, the fund has already raised more than $5,000. It is intended to be a college fund for 6-year-old Jarrett Mosby Jr. Later, it will help other African-American men attend college.
Police found Mosby, 21, in a car on Dec. 24 in Madison, Ill., with multiple gunshot wounds. A suspect was taken into custody Monday and charged with first-degree murder.
The fund in his honor was started by two sisters and another woman, all fellow students at MU. Mosby was five months from graduating as a business major when he died.
Armani Tatum, her sister, Tiffany Tatum, and friend Alana Flowers held a memorial benefit on Dec. 27 in St. Louis. A portion of the money was given to the family for immediate expenses, and the rest will establish Jarrett's Dream, an ongoing college fund.
"Jarrett was a single father, and we wanted to do something to provide two things that he was dedicated to — being a father and a student," Armani Tatum said. "We wanted to give his son the opportunity to do what his father was so close to doing — graduate college."
She said a foundation is also being created to assist high school students with the college application process.
"Not a lot of African-American males are seeking higher education, and for those that are, the graduation rate is not high," Tatum said. "We would like to start the foundation in his memory."
Tiffany Tatum said she saw how Mosby's death impacted her sister and decided to take action. In a less than a week, she helped create the benefit through social media, contacted local media and set up a bank account for memorial funds.
"We wanted to show that we can all come together as a community to help the kids," she said. "This is a great opportunity to get the youth on the right path."
Flowers, a college adviser for Soldan International Studies High School in St. Louis, said many of her students have backgrounds similar to Mosby's. She said she wanted to help other students and share Mosby's story.
Miranda Williams, Mosby's mother, said she has been amazed by the generosity of people during this time.
"I was just so overwhelmed to look at the young kids and how they came together to do such a positive thing for their classmate," she said.