A letter To Steven

Dear 17 year old Steven,

 

Four years ago tomorrow you were taken from this world due to a senseless act of violence…..wrong place wrong time……neverending cycle of unneccessary actions in this city……Just shy of your fourteenth birthday……an 8th grader one month into what would have been one of the most impacting years of your life, their lives, my life…….What you may have not known is how many people you truly touched in your short time here.

 

As a sixth grader you entered my classroom bubbly and ready to see what I was about…..those round cheeks and dimples got you out of trouble some days but most days you knew what was being asked of you and you did it…occasionally calling me MRS. Bello just to watch my eyebrow raise. What we shared was our love of music. You would drum on the desk every day and finally instead of telling you to stop I asked you to help me create a beat for a remix to the school pledge…you lit up…..you were so excited……as you moved on to seventh grade you made sure to knock on my door and say “whattup Ms Bello” every chance you had…..I saw the world in you…future college grad, musician, entrepreneur, president…of something…..

 

October 4th 2007 I was 5 minutes from school when the morning show announced a teenager had died….was gunned down……my heart dropped….I drove so fast I couldnt remember the drive from Blue Hill ave to the Tim……I saw one teacher’s face and I knew…..tragedy…but who…..who was he….who had been so senselessly gunned down for being in the wrong place at the wrong time……..3 teachers simultaneously said “Its Steven” and I lost it……for his mom and dad, family, friends, teachers………I lost it……..I will never forget that day for as long as I live…….we lost one amazing young man……..but were left with his legacy

 

I wear Stevens pin almost everyday and if its not on me its in my car….I dedicate my shows to him and hope that the Peace work I do can help another “Steven” or those who were like the young men who murdered Steven…….He left a void here that will never be replaced. His family is one of if not THE strongest group of people I have ever known…I find strength in seeing them carry Steven with them everyday…

 

Rest in Heaven Steven…….I hope to see you on the other side one day so we can play some drums and jam out…..

 

Love Ms Bello

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