MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee woman who worked to bring peace to the community lost her life to type of violence she battled against.
20-year-old Quanita "Tay" Jackson was shot and killed near the intersection of 23rd and Burleigh Streets on Sunday night. Now a memorial marks the place where she died.
"I never met anybody who could put that much sunshine and energy into a room," Travis Chambers said.
Chambers met Jackson about four years ago through Fresh Empire, an activist group that promotes tobacco-free lifestyles for teenagers. This was one of several community groups Jackson was involved in, including COA and TRUE Skool, where Chambers said Jackson's musical talent really shined, through singing, rapping, and dancing.
He said learning about her death didn't seem real.
"From the day I met her to the day she passed, I watch her grow into this adult, into this person, and I helped a bit to mold that and to guide that," Chambers said, "And to get that news is not only devastating but heartbreaking."
He said Chambers was dedicated to bettering her community and herself.
"Her legacy was positivity, she was the most positive person, she was the most fearless person," Chambers said. "And to be 20 years old in Milwaukee and her circumstances ...to be that drawn to change...I think that is a testament that we soon shouldn’t forget."
"Ms. Jackson was a youth participant in COA's teen program who excelled in our arts programming at COA's Goldin Center. After graduating from the program she continued volunteering at COA and at other community organizations in the area. Just this past Friday she worked as a volunteer at the Amani Community Fun Night attended by 700 people, and then on Saturday for a Program the Parks event. She cared so much about others and was always a kind voice of wisdom to other youth in the community. Everyone at COA is deeply saddened by this terrible and senseless tragedy and we send our condolences to her family and friends. She will be greatly missed by all of us at COA Youth & Family Centers and by so many people in the community that she helped and who saw her as a role model."