Na’Jada Joyce’s family keeps her memory alive one year after she was killed in murder-suicide
HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - A family is coming together for comfort exactly a year after 20-year-old Na’Jada Joyce was killed by her boyfriend in a murder-suicide. Her family is making sure she isn’t forgotten.
Na’Jada’s mother, Tilphanie Joyce, said in the year since her daughter was killed, the entire family has worked hard to keep her memory alive.
“I’m going to always continue to keep my daughter’s memory alive. She’s going to always follow me in my heart, mind, body and soul; I have pictures of her everywhere,” Tilphanie said.
Na’Jada’s smiling face is now on the family members’ clothing and masks, with them wherever they go.
“If I could say anything to her right now, I would tell her, I’m very, very proud of you to this day,” Tilphanie said.
January 10, 2020, Na’Jada was shot and killed by her boyfriend Jalen Milner while they were in a car together on Route 220 in Henry County, where Na’Jada grew up. Police say Milner then turned the gun on himself.
“Our daughter had goals to complete, she had goals to complete, she wasn’t finished,” Tilphanie said.
But she said her daughter lived her days on this earth to the fullest.
“She’s a very hard worker, she would go above and beyond to do everything for anyone, she loved to help children,” she said.
Na’Jada’s love for children is carrying on past her death in the form of a scholarship fund recently created by her godfather, Charles Hairston. Other family members are helping out, including Na’Jada’s godmother Edna Perkins and former teacher Beth Lawson.
“Na’Jada had a very strong passion for children, and this is one way we could continue her memory, by providing this scholarship to assist others in the early childhood education department,” Hairston said.
Once more money is raised, Na’Jada’s family is working with Patrick Henry Community College to give out scholarships to students enrolled in childhood education.
“I’m overjoyed because Na’Jada would want someone to continue their education like she was trying to continue hers,” Tilphanie said.
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