Scholarship in Memory of Jamal Coates sends Students to School in Guatemala

A scholarship fund in memory of Jamal Coates has raised $1,500, enough to send seven children to school in a Guatamala education program Coates was a part of before his death.

Coates, 21, was killed Sep. 28 in a shooting during a funeral procession for his friend Ashley McRae. Coates’ family asked that community contribute to the scholarship fund for Guatemalan students instead of helping to pay funeral expenses.

Coates spent eight weeks in Guatemala in 2009 teaching basketball with Hoops Sagrado, a D.C. organization that sends at-risk D.C. youth to Guatemala to teach basketball. The trip was eye-opening for Coates, said Ward 1 activist Bryan Weaver.

That students must pay tuition to continue their education after the sixth grade in Guatemala “really struck Jamal,” Weaver said. “Jamal thought he had squandered his education.”

Weaver said this week that the Jamal Coates Scholarship Fund has raised $1,500 for students’ tuition, which costs, on average, $200 a year.

Weaver said he hopes a basketball tournament sometime in mid-2011 will raise more money for the fund.

You can donate to the fund at Jamal R. Coates Scholarship Fund, c/o Hoops Sagrado, PO Box 21332, Washington, D.C. 20009.

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