At the end of last year, on December 27th, 2016, The RightWay Foundation lost a great student and the world lost a great man. 20-year-old Anthony Nelson III was killed in East LA, across the street from where he was living. Anthony was an alumni of The RightWay Foundation's program, Operation Emancipation, and participated in our first cohort with LA's Department of Cultural Affairs as an intern in the Creative Career Pathways Program. He was placed at Armory Center for the Arts, where he thrived in his creative projects and tasks. At the culmination ceremony, Anthony received a certificate from the Mayor's office that celebrated his completion of the program, which remained on his wall along with his high school diploma until the day he passed. He was proud to be an alumni of the Creative Career Pathways Program and was going to continue into the music industry, where he was able to gain experience as an intern in the Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center's recording studio. But beyond his accomplishments that were moving him towards a career in the arts and music, Anthony made an impact on all the people he met.
The RightWay Foundation collected memories from people who knew Anthony well here (staff, youth, and everyone in-between). Here are some of the words they used to describe him:
Anthony was a resilient and caring young man with high aspirations of being in the music industry. He would always say he wanted to be the next Kendrick Lamar but on another level. Regardless of what situations he was dealt, he would always find a way to bounce back and make the best of it. His love for his family was beyond measureable and his goal was to reunite everyone which would have brought him the greatest joy. You will be missed Anthony but your memories will live on. Rest in Paradise
Anthony was one of the most optimistic people I knew! I met him at The RightWay Foundation. No matter his situation, he would always find a silver lining; even if the silver lining was dull. He found a way to brighten it and share it with others. He was full of hope and dreams and he wouldn't let any setback get in his way. He was very patient, kind, and had a gentle spirit. I saw him Dec 24th, 2016 at the Annual Pathways Christmas Party and he greeted me with a BIG SMILE, as he usually did. He had on a bright red bow tie and we exchanged how happy we were to be apart of the event for another year :) He wore a smile even in the rain. He was extremely happy to be living in his own space and looked at it as a way for him to gain a foundation in life; He was surrounded by supportive people who also shared his vision. This young man is gone way too soon. It is a blessing to have been able to meet and work with this special human being. Rest In Peace, forever more.
Anthony was loved by most and respected by many. Anyone he came across would leave with a warm heart. Anthony loved making others smile even if he was feeling down. He always found a way to get through the ruff times without losing his focus on the goals he wanted to accomplish. He had such a beautiful soul and I was truly blessed to have been apart of his life. You will be truly missed but never forgotten. May you rest in paradise.
Anthony Nelson was a young man who was bettering his situation for himself. He was too young, at 20, to be taken from this world, especially in such a violent way. The RightWay Foundation attended his funeral a couple of weeks ago and is providing therapy to anyone who needs to talk about this loss. We know his sister, family, and all those who knew and loved Anthony will carry on his memory.