DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — A woman whose 18-year-old son was shot to death just months before his high school graduation has received an honorary diploma for him from the principal and school system superintendent.
Cecilia Newby also was given a graduation cap and tassel for Majic Collins as his friends and family watched on Thursday at Wiregrass Angel House, The Dothan Eagle reported.
Wiregrass Angel House, an Alabama non-profit organization, works with families affected by homicide.
Collins was shot multiple times last August as he talked with another teen who was later charged with murder in his death. That trial is set for August.
Dothan City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dennis Coe and Dothan High Principal Bill Singleton presented the mementos to Newby.
"When we have faith that strengthens us, we understand that Majic is here with us today at this ceremony," Coe said. "I hope you can rest on the good memories you have of him, and I hope this ceremony can be one of those good memories."
Newby said it means a great deal that the school system and Wiregrass Angel House would think of her son during graduation season.
"To receive Majic's diploma in his honor, it has touched my heart," Newby said. "He was so young, and I was looking forward to him graduating. So being able to accept this on his behalf, I feel honored, blessed, and thankful."
Wiregrass Angel House outreach advocate Katy Lewis said amid all the graduation ceremonies and parties going on, she wanted to provide Collins' family with a space to celebrate and honor his life and achievements.
"The opportunity to graduate was taken from Majic," Lewis said. "We wanted to make sure that he got recognition and his mom got to see him graduate."