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When her son’s life was ended in a tragic act of violence, Lonnie Rashid knew she had to do something to honor his legacy.

“I wanted to accentuate and to do something on a positive note,” said Rashid. “To pay it forward to someone who could really use a scholarship.”

Brennan Davis never let his life circumstances define him. After serving in the U.S. Army, he enrolled in Sullivan University. With determination and perseverance, he worked his way through school and nearly completed his master’s degree.

Now, another Sullivan student will have the chance to carry on Brennan’s legacy with the ultimate goal of completing a master’s degree. On Aug. 16, Kaelin Dickerson was awarded the inaugural “Brennan G. Davis Memorial Scholarship.”

“It means a lot, because, first of all, it’s the first time it’s been awarded, and just talking to his mom, I could feel how great Brennan was,” said Dickerson, who is currently earning his associate degree in marketing and sales. “For me to be compared to him, even by a little bit—it’s an amazing feeling.”

For Rashid, this act of “paying it forward” means that Brennan’s example of tenacity will not be in vain.

“Brennan always said, ‘Well, Sullivan, they feel like family. I know them, they know me.’ And that’s what I feel in this recipient, Mr. Dickerson,” said Rashid. “I really feel so happy. This is one of the bright spots and joys of my life since this happened and since Brennan passed on. This has been just absolutely wonderful.”