SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Shreveport mother is taking her personal tragedy and using it to help Shreveport communities plagued by gun violence and the collective grief that follows.
Tasha Myers’ 17-year-old son Devin was fatally shot last month near his home in Shreveport’s Queensborough neighborhood. He was a Huntington High School athlete who played on the school’s basketball team.
Now, Tasha Meyers is starting a nonprofit called “Friends of Devin” to help Shreveport children and their families, plagued by violence deal with grief and its effects. Outreach will start with the Huntington High School family.
“We can still help the kids in the community to get what they need, backpacks, hygiene, snack packs. We’re going to start off like that first,” Myers said.
Myers is hoping to engage the community in a conversation about mental health and how to cope with death. She plans to do so during a taping of The Risk Taker Podcast Huntington students and other community members are invited to be on hand for the official launch of Friends of Devin.
“I just want all the mothers to be strong. It’s hard,” Myers said. “I’m not gonna say it’s easy. Not going to tell you we’re not going to grieve, others grieve differently mine is going to be dealing with the kids cause that’s what I love.”
There will be conversations with Devin Myers’ coaches and a counselor will be on-site to talk about how to cope with grief and loss. The event will take place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at 8516 Meadow Parkway Drive in Shreveport.
Centenary College psychology professor Latoya Pierce says a basic way to cope with death is engaging with others who know how grief feels.
“It’s a process that we simply navigate and that we don’t try to speed through,” Pierce said. “But I think resources too. Nonprofits, support groups. A lot of the time what, they can do is give you the space that you need to grieve in the way that you need to grieve.”
“Devin’s death has brought community back. We’ve had a chance to witness and be a part of what it means for community to come together and to help one another and we thought that was lost and that’s what ‘Friends of Devin’ is all about,” said Francine Brown, Executive Director of Seniors First.