CARROLLTON, Texas — It has been one year since Botham Shem Jean was shot and killed by a Dallas police officer inside his own apartment.
The past year has been tough for Jean’s grieving family, friends, and a community of people his tragic story touched in North Texas and abroad.
Students and staff at Jean’s alma mater, Harding University in Arkansas, are finding comfort in honoring his life and legacy.
“I always hear that he was a positive guy,” said student Antonio Montez. “He radiated like a giving spirit and a kind spirit. He was a leader on this campus for black men just like me.”
Montez, 22, is a senior at Harding University. The Carrollton, Texas native is one of four students who received the inaugural Botham Jean Memorial Scholarship. They are the first recipients of the scholarship.
”I feel honored and humbled.” Montez said.
The Memorial Scholarship was established by Harding and Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) for students from underrepresented populations. Jean, who is from St. Lucia, worked at PWC's Dallas office. He was described by some of his colleagues as a charismatic rising star.
”To Price Waterhouse I would just love to say thank you,” Montez said. “I know if Botham was anything like he was at Harding, he was a blessing to PWC.”
PWC established the Botham Jean Memorial Scholarship with a $50,000 gift. The contributions have grown to more than $600,000.
Montez graduated from Hebron High School in Carrollton. He is currently majoring in accounting and information systems. The college student credits his parents and three siblings on being his circle of support.
Montez said the Harding University community continues to think about and pray for Jean’s family.
"May God be with you guys and bless you in these tough times," Montez said. "As always, we’re seeking out the truth. And we’re seeking out justice. Thank you.”
The Botham Jean Foundation is hosting a Red Tie Gala on Sept. 29 in Dallas to celebrate his life and legacy.