WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Josh Proutey was shot and killed leaving Wilmington’s Community Arts Center in December 2012.
Now his mother is back in Wilmington with hopes of turning his death into something positive.
“In the darkest, deepest, loneliest place on earth is where a mother must go when someone takes their 19-year-old son away,” Patty Proutey said.
It was all over $10, a cell phone and a sandwich. Quintel Grady shot CFCC student Josh Proutey, 19, in the head after he hesitated when Grady and two other men demanded his wallet.
Proutey’s mother said after the murder, it was hard to find the will to live.
“I couldn’t stand being in Wilmington,” Patty Proutey said. “It was painful. The last time I was here, I left Joshua off in August to go to school, and then I never saw him again.”
But after time Proutey says she realized how much Josh loved the Port City, and she knew what she had to do.
“I moved to Wilmington so that I could launch a foundation called Journey for Josh, and it is my hope to take this tragedy and turn it around to make an opportunity for other children that don’t have or didn’t have the same opportunities that josh may have had growing up,” Proutey said.
She says the foundation’s first project is to send five at-risk kids to day camps for 10 weeks over the summer.
“I think that getting them out of their own environments, keeping them from being bored, keeping them from feeling like the only thing they have to do is what everybody else around them is doing,” Proutey said.
She hopes this will keep kids from getting into trouble, like her son’s killer.
“If you only change the life of one child, that’s enough,” she said. “That’s worth it.”
Proutey says her greatest goal is to set up a program where kids in the Port City can choose any activity they want to do free of charge.
For more information on Proutey’s foundation visit Journey4Josh.org