I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Before being unjustly engulfed in the criminal justice system, the Exonerated Five’s Kevin Richardson was a 14-year-old trumpet player with aspirations to one day attend the esteemed Syracuse University. Sadly, that dream never became a reality for Richardson, but it may for others now that the school has created a new scholarship bearing his name.
The Daily Orange reports that at a benefit reception for the Our Time Has Come Scholarship, during which the 44-year-old was being honored, the school announced the Kevin Richardson Fund for underrepresented black and brown students.
“It’s surreal,” Richardson told the Daily Orange moments before he was honored. “Just being here and being 44 and having that dream at (the age of) 14, and now I’m here. It’s mind-blowing.”
During the reception, Richardson was given a personalized jersey with the number 44 to commemorate the school’s “Orange spirit of determination,” as well as the countless sports legends who’ve attended the prestigious university.
He also received this:
A special chrome edition trumpet courtesy of Yamaha; an instrument Richardson says he hasn’t played in 30 years.
It holds tremendous significance for anyone who’s seen When They See Us.
“That’s my homework,” he told Inside Edition. “I’m gonna go start studying, and start playing the trumpet again because I wouldn’t say I lost that passion, but I’d say I put it on the back burner. So now I wanna pick it back up and be reacquainted.”
Richardson appeared on the school’s radar once he mentioned his admiration for SU during an interview with Oprah earlier this year. Once word got to Rachel Vassell, the assistant vice president of the Office of Multicultural Advancement, she connected the dots.
“I don’t take anything for granted,” Richardson said. “I want to continue this legacy for years to come. If I’m not around, my name will still be here. My time has come.”
As someone who lost so much, this man deserves everything now coming his way.