WXXI AM News

UPrep remembers Jarvis Alexander

Sep 21, 2020

Credit uprep.org
Over the weekend, UPrep, a Rochester charter school, opened its doors to staff and students for the first time since the pandemic. 

They came together to mourn the loss of Jarvis Alexander.  The 2019 graduate was a student-athlete, excelling in both football and track and field. He died this past weekend in a shooting that also took the life of 19-year-old Jaquayla Young and left 14 others injured.  

UPrep CEO Walter Larkin describes Alexander as a scholar-athlete. He says sports motivated him to excel in the classroom.

“He didn’t start as the best student, but as he got older and realized he had talent, he was very consistent and driven to be the best he could be academically, cause he knew that football and track could take him to that collegiate level,” says Larkin.

He says Alexander’s desire to do better is what led him to attend college outside of Rochester.

“He wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do, but he had a desire to be better, not (than) his family, to be better than what was going on in Rochester,” says Larkin.

The 19-year-old had just entered his sophomore year at Alfred State College.

Alexander’s former football coach, Jeenathan Williams, was emotional talking about Alexander, who he described as a “great kid.”

“My son is bothered by this. You don’t have to lose your life to be hurt for the remainder of your life. These kids are ruined in some way,” says Williams.

Williams says he has been with the school since the beginning and has witnessed other students lose their lives to gun violence throughout the years.

Alexander is the second former UPREP student to die from gun violence this month. The staff and students have been mourning the loss of Darius Dillard, who was shot and killed on Sept. 6.

Larkins says he will continue to provide additional support to staff, students, and alumni in the proceeding weeks. Grief counselors will be available online or in-person for anyone who needs it.