Foundation named for slain college student working to end gun violence

By LEA RIZZO, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 1/2/18

The family of a young woman who was killed over the summer is working to give others new opportunities and to raise awareness about gun violence.

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Foundation named for slain college student working to end gun violence

Posted

The family of a young woman who was killed over the summer is working to give others new opportunities and to raise awareness about gun violence.

Jalayah Hackman, 20, of Jasper, passed away as the result of a shooting in Yerkwood in late July. Hackman was a student at the University of North Alabama at the time of her death and had returned to Walker County for summer vacation.

She was killed when two men reportedly pulled out weapons and began firing at each other, with one of the bullets striking Hackman in the neck.

Since her death, a nonprofit organization has been founded in her honor, the Jalayah Hackman Foundation, which is “working towards mentoring the youth of our community,” according to the foundation’s website.

The website also states, “We want to help the youth understand that violence isn’t the answer and every life does matter. If we can touch just one child and change the thinking of one youth and save [the] life of one person, then we have fulfilled our purpose.”

Hackman’s aunt, Sherae Fluker, says she wants Hackman’s story to be a warning to other people.

“We want to mentor youth about gun violence, since that’s how [Hackman] was killed,” Fluker said. “Put down the guns. We don’t want another family to go through what we’ve been through.”

Recently, the organization gained approval from the Alabama Department of Revenue to have a distinctive license plate, reading “Together We Can Stop Gun Violence.” The tags will be available to purchase from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018. Fluker said the idea came from a family member who had done something similar when her mother passed away.

A portion of the money raised from this license plate will go towards the Jalayah Hackman Foundation’s scholarship fund.

Fluker said they’re planning to give out at least one $5,000 scholarship at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. The application deadline is April 13.

Fluker encouraged seniors in Walker County to apply for the scholarship, saying that they’ve received applications from students outside the county but not many from Walker County students.

For more information or to sign up for the Jalayah Hackman Foundation’s scholarship, visit https://jalayahhackmanfoundation.com.