Dozens gathered at World's Fair Park on Sunday to honor some of Knoxville's top leaders and present a new scholarship named after Zaevion Dobson.
It was a part of a Father's Day celebration put on by the Beta Theta Boule Foundation.
"I was really surprised, but grateful,” said Uriah Richey, who received the award.
The recent Fulton High School graduate still remembers the heartbreak she and her classmates endured almost precisely six months ago: In December, Zaevion Dobson died shielding his friends from a gang-related shooting.
"When we lost Zae, you could obviously feel it everywhere,” she said, “but then again, you could feel every Falcon and every Knoxvillian standing together to support one another."
For Zaevion’s mother Zenobia Dobson, it's been an uphill battle since then. Though nothing will heal the pain of losing her son, Zenobia agreed there’s assurance in knowing his legacy lives on.
“Someone from an inner city school deserves a chance,” she told 10News after the program. “I’m from the inner city and Zaevion is from the inner city. For the legacy to live on for another hard worker just like Zaevion… it’s well deserved.”
Richey is the first student to win the Zaevion scholarship but that's not her only breakthrough. She also boasts a 4.3 GPA and will be the first her in family to attend college.
"I honestly tried not to cry,” she said. “To me, it was such an honor and it really is a big deal. I was really humbled and honored to be up there with [Zenobia]. To be awarded a scholarship in her son's name, because I know that must mean a lot to her."
The program also honored eight Knoxville men for their leadership, including Pastor Daryl Arnold from Overcoming Believers Church, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch, Knoxville Hall of Famer Todd Kelley, and several others.