Kids dance off in memory of “C.J.” Sheppard


HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WJBF)– Dancers all came together to help remember the life of a young man gone too soon, Recardell “CJ” Sheppard.

The Live Like Number 25 scholarship committee holds events every year to raise money for college scholarships. Sunday’s event, though, did not lack energy.

“We started this scholarship three years ago when one of our very own, Recardell “C.J.” Sheppard, passed away from playing a game of pickup basketball,” Monique Braswell, chairman of the Live Like #25 scholarship committee, told me.

He was just 17-years-old when he died unexpectedly at T.W. Josey High School in October of 2014. Now, CJ Sheppard is being remembered through The Live Like #25 Scholarship.

Monique Braswell said she started raising funds so that Shepard’s legacy lives on. “Random acts of kindness, because C.J. was a kind guy,” Braswell explained. “We have given away more than 16 $1500 scholarships over the last three years. Today’s event is so we will be able to move forward with the competition in May, so that we will be able to give more and more scholarships.”

Dozens of area dance teams came together Sunday to compete and raise money.

Rick Calloway, a judge, is a dance coach in Macon, Georgia. “I feel like the kids came ready, determined to dance and compete,” He said. “It was a lot of great sportsmanship.”

Like Sheppard, Calloway played sports in high school, then later developed a passion for dance: “I managed to gain a lot of confidence. I was very shy.”

And for the kids he coaches: “I see that it is an outlet for them as well,” he expressed. “The environment we live in is not the best, and a lot of communities are like that. It’s good to keep them off the streets and making are their grades and academics are up to par.”

The Live Like #25 Scholarship is for any Richmond County High School senior athlete.

“Whoever is fortunate enough to get the scholarship, I feel like they should follow their passion because I feel like that is what C.J. would have done,” Calloway said.

The scholarship application will be available in January, and is due back in March. Richmond County high school counselors have all the information.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.