Zaevion Dobson was not only a budding football star at Fulton High School. He was also a riding leader both in his community, and within the group 100 Black Men of Knoxville.
100 Black Men is a national group that helps young men of color reach their full potential and make a difference in their communities.
Zaevion's mother signed him up for, as members call it, 'the 100' when he was 8 years old. The groups president, Andre Canty says he's grown in many ways since their meeting.
"Well he used to be a lot smaller, before he started playing football at Fulton. But, he was also growing into a tremendous leader," said Canty.
Canty says Zaevion was committed to stopping violence in his Lonsdale Community, and that was evident through his work in the 100.
"The last time I was him he was at a 'stop the violence event', so he was always involved in the community," said Canty.
Zaevion was determined to be part of the NFL, and had a promising athletic future. However, many say that's not what he'll be remembered for.
"Heroes don't always wear capes. Sometimes they wear football pads. Sometimes they have afro's," said Canty.
Rick Staples, mentee coordinator of the 100, says he proved he lived a selfless life, long before the night Zaevion gave up his own life to save three girls.
"I could look to Zaevion to watch out for the other mentee's, and make sure they were doing the right thing. I didn't have to think twice about it," said Staples.
Staples and Zaevion had a close relationship. Staples said many times he learned lessons from Zaevion, and that the 15-year-old had his utmost respect.
"He was the type of man that you wanted your daughter to marry," said Staples.
Staples says there will be a huge void in the 100 and the community, because of Zaevion's death. However, he also says his death set an unmatchable example for the community.
"He left an impact on us. He was the perfect example of how a young man should be, how a mentee should me, and we should all follow in the footsteps of Zaevion. He gave up his life up so others could live," said Staples.
There is a memorial fund set up for Zaevion's family. If you'd like to donate, visit here.
Wednesday, August 23 2017 11:49 PM EDT2017-08-24 03:49:44 GMT
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