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Mission 21 founder dies ahead of Pay It Forward surprise
Every week in February, WEAR along with Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram "Pays it Forward". We give $500 dollars to someone who "Pays it Forward" every day in their own life.
This week's segment is a little different. We had selected our winner, but he was very sick with lung cancer. He passed away the day we were supposed to surprise him with the honor.
His story was so touching we decided to give it to his widow in his honor.
All you have to do is see a photo of him and you can see that Victor Brown was passionate and full of life.
He started a youth mentorship program called "Mission 21" at Sherwood Elementary to help boys that have anger issues. His message was simple; think twice, speak once.
He was a bus driver and saw that many children needed someone to them teach about respect. Little boys like Germon Thomas took that to heart.
"He taught me how to do a handshake, how to be respectful. He taught me even at home and school just to be good." said Thomas.
It didn't take long for the guidance counselor to see major changes in the children.
Monya Curtis, "Behavioral, academic changes. Some have made A/B honor role for first time in their life."
That's why his coworker Pam Nolan nominated Victor for "Pay it Forward.
"We were supposed to surprise him with the honor two weeks ago. However, that was the same day he lost his battle with lung cancer. His wife, all his coworkers, and the Mission 21 graduates gathered to receive it in his place,"Nolan said. "I can't tell you how special it is. They deserve it even though he isn't here with us anymore because we know Victor deserved it. "
His widow, Janice Brown said, "When he passed away, I thought that might be the end of it. When Pam told me they still want to do it, I was really touched that you wanted to do it in honor of him. It just meant the whole world to me to still get this honor even in his passing."
Victor's family has stepped in to continue his legacy. His widow said the $500 will go right back in to Mission 21 to continue what he started.