In memory of a Rock Island graduate and artist who was shot and killed, a scholarship fund has been created to continue spreading his joy of art.
Tattoo artist, Derek James Jackson was shot in December of 2013 in a home on 16th Avenue near Douglas Park in Rock Island.
To keep his memory alive, his mother, Susan Poe created a scholarship fund in his name through the Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation.
The scholarship will be awarded each year for $500 to a Rock Island High School student who has participated in the school’s art program. Jackson was a 2007 graduate of Rock Island High School.
“Derek started drawing as soon as he could hold a pencil,” recalled Poe. “Art is who Derek was. I want to honor Derek and his amazing talents. Derek was proud of his full name and wrote it on everything he owned, which is why I named it the Derek James Jackson Art Scholarship.”
Applications will be available through the high school’s counselors’ office or online starting in January 2015. Applications must include a letter of recommendation from an art teacher.
If you would like to contribute to the scholarship, you can contact the Education Foundation at 309-793-5900 extension 230. Or you can visit the Education Foundation’s website.