Honoring Jalisa Reed - KCTV5

Honoring Jalisa Reed

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Jalisa Reed's parents break ground on tree planted in her honor. Courtesy: KCTV5's Dave Jordan Jalisa Reed's parents break ground on tree planted in her honor. Courtesy: KCTV5's Dave Jordan

It's a murder that sent shockwaves through a local high school, but Friday night marked another step in the grieving process for family and friends of 16-year-old Schlagle High School student Jalisa Reed.

Reed was an active member of the Boys and Girls Club, some would even say she was the face of the organization. A red maple tree is a last memorial of her presence at the club and in Kansas City, KS.

On this Earth Day weekend, normally a celebration of everything green, there are shades of red in the form of a maple tree, a reminder of a young life cut tragically short.

"It means a lot because Jalisa was very active in the Boys and Girls Club so these kinds of activities are what she would have been doing with all of her peers," said Norrisha Reed, Jalisa's mother.

Norrisha Reed, along with other relatives and friends, helped break ground outside the club at North 13th Street and Parallel Parkway where the tree was planted in her daughter's honor. Also on hand at the ceremony was Gary Walker, who took time away from his green energy lecture to remember a girl who made an impact on him.

"She was a sweet girl and she absolutely lived life to the fullest. She was in this club and that's why we took the time out to remember her," he said.

Jalisa Reed was killed March 16 in a shooting near East 75th Street and Monroe Avenue. The shooting happened after an argument, when a man returned to the scene with a gun and opened fire, killing the teen and wounding another woman.

Planting the tree, organizers said, was more than just a way to remember Jalisa – it was also a symbolic gesture.

"It was really a way for us to continue her growth. She's gone, but her spirit isn't so we really wanted to do something in front of the club so that all kids will know that this was her club," said Penny King, the vice president for the Boys and Girls Club.

Jalisa Reed's mother told KCTV5 News prior to her death, the teen was accepted into a nursing program she wanted to do because she wanted to help people. Meanwhile, a foundation has been started in her honor and a plaque has been ordered bearing Jalisa's name that will sit at the base of the tree.

Click here for previous stories on Jalisa Reed.

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