Wanda Cooper-Jones said the Ahmaud Arbery Foundation will give out six scholarships to a select group of seniors at Brunswick High -- the same school her son graduated from in 2012. The scholarships will be worth $3,000. The organization was founded by Arbery's mother.
"As we all know, nothing will bring my son back, but I know God wants us to repurpose the pain, my pain, into service to make life better for other young men like Ahmaud," she said.
The scholarship announcement was made at an event at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Cooper-Jones was joined by Georgia House Rep. Sandra Scott, who previously introduced legislation to establish "Ahmaud Arbery Day," which honors him on the day he was killed. Several other Georgia political and religious leaders attended the event.
On, Feb. 23, 2020, he was chased down and murdered by three white men in Brunswick, Georgia. On Tuesday, those three men were convicted of hate crimes in a federal trial.
Arbery's mother said after the trial concluded that it had been a "very long, stressful fight" for justice, but noted that no amount of justice will ever be able to bring her son back.
AAF works at "Ensuring that his spirit and legacy live on," according to a news release. Their programs are also "designed to raise awareness, educate and advocate for the mental health and wellness of Black men & boys."
"When we hear the name of Ahmaud Arbery, we will now hear and think of change," she said.
"My son was killed because someone else's perception of Black men, my Black son," she said. "The Ahmaud Arbery Foundation was established so what happened to Ahmaud won't happen to another Black man."
While the first year they will give out six scholarships, Cooper-Jones said they are hoping to expand the program to more recipients in the future.
"It is my honor to serve others in this way in recognition my son's life. Let us always remember Ahmaud Arbery," she said.