More than worrying

Published 9:23 pm Friday, March 9, 2018

For more than two years, Joan Turner has lived a mother’s worst nightmare — not knowing where her son is.

Quantez Russell has not been seen or heard from since Nov. 11, 2015. The rumor was that Quantez, 30 at the time, had been shot in Newport News, but he has never been found, although his car was found there.

Like all mothers, Turner has a mother’s intuition. And, unfortunately, her intuition tells her that Quantez is deceased. But there is no evidence of that; no evidence, really, of anything in the case.

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Turner remains hopeful that something will turn up, and she will eventually know her son’s fate. But in the meantime, she and the rest of her family are doing everything they can to craft a silver lining for the cloud.

A year ago, Turner and her family hosted a community forum in honor of her son that addressed gangs and gun violence. Turner told more than 200 people who attended the event that her son was involved with a Bloods gang in Newport News. She held nothing back as she shared photos and videos from his gang life to illustrate the signs of gang affiliation parents can look for.

The impactful forum included speakers including prosecutors, the local sheriff, the school superintendent and the faith community.

Despite the success of that event, the family even felt like they needed to do more. So they have created a scholarship in Russell’s honor that will benefit upcoming graduates from Suffolk Public Schools.

One student from each high school will be chosen to receive the $500 scholarship. Turner wants the award to go to someone who plans on pursuing a career in law or law enforcement.

Family, friends and the community all have pitched in to raise the funds for the scholarship, she said recently.

Through their pain, Quantez Russell’s family is doing more than just worrying and waiting. They are doing things that are making a positive difference in the community, and that is worth admiring. We thank them for all they have done so far.