Foundation names scholarship after former students shot, killed

Scholarship helps teenage girls go to college

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For its 20-year anniversary, the MalVai Washington Kids Foundation is offering three teenage girls college scholarships in the name of two former students killed in 2013.

In 2013, Keshell Brown, 21, and Keyonna Brown, 22, were shot to death inside a home in Murray Hill. Two other men inside the home were also shot and killed. Their killer is still at large.

Both of the young women who were killed were in programs at the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation. The scholarships that were named in their honor will go to three girls who are currently going through the program.

The foundation gives kids more than just tennis lessons. It gives them life lessons.

The program’s executive director, who knew both Keyonna Brown and Keyshell Brown personally, said they've picked three girls to get more than $10,000 in combined scholarships for higher education. They hope to help new students every year.

As police try to solve the case, the foundation has already given out its first year of scholarships to keep the young women’s names alive.

“We want to keep the names of the girls out there,” MaliVi Washington Kids Foundation Executive director Terri Florio said. “We want to keep their case alive. We want to make sure that we do as much as we can as an organization to keep their memory alive.”

Scotty Brown has fond memories of his cousins, Keyshell and Keyonna Brown, but said his heart is filled with pain. Almost three years after they were killed, he has no answers.

“You know, there are some nights when I still have dreams about them,” Brown said. “They're always going to be in my heart though.”

“They were amazing girls,” tennis instructor and friend Marc Atkinson said. “Very sweet, nice, outgoing. Just wonderful all over.”

The Brown family is praying for justice, but thankful that the young women won’t be forgotten.

“It is excellent,” Brown said. “I love the fact that they have a scholarship in their name now, because it carries on their legacy. Their names will never die with that scholarship.”

Anyone with information regarding the quadruple homicide should call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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