Mother of teenage son killed by gun violence turns her pain into purpose

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 9:13 PM EDT
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EAST POINT, Ga. (CBS46) - Four years ago, an east point woman’s life took a devastating turn. But she has taken her pain and turned it into purpose. Now, the CBS46 Surprise Squad is making sure her journey can continue.

Along a quiet street in East Point is a tribute to a son.

“I get to walk in here and see Grant every day and I feel like, ‘don’t you feel great standing in here,’” said Donese Gordon who lost her son to gun violence.

Donese says she feels her son Grant’s presence everywhere.

“He got his first job at Chick-fil-A so, I posted on Facebook, ‘The look on your kids’ face when he gets his first job.”

That photo of Grant standing outside the Chick-fil-A was his last. Less than a week later, the 16-year-old was shot and killed. In the four years since his tragic death, Donese grieved and ultimately found the strength to forgive.

“So, I had to forgive them because hurt people hurt people,” she explained.

Turning her pain into purpose.

“Why did this happen to me. If this happened to me then this has to be for a bigger reason.”

Grant’s World Resource Center tries to provide job placement and skill-building opportunities.

“We teach them how to dress for interviews, we actually help them prepare resumes, we teach them about references,” said Donese.

Helping young people find jobs, and maybe even more importantly, find their own purpose.

“What do you want to do? ‘Oh, well, I don’t know.’ What did you want to do before you thought that you couldn’t do it? That gets them every time,” Donese said. “I just want to be the person that helps them get their dream job.”

To thank Donese for helping to shape people’s lives and turning her pain into purpose, the CBS46 Surprise Squad, Dunkin and United Community Bank stepped in to help Donese do just that.

“Oh my God, thank you,”

Trying to make sure other mothers won’t have to go through that same pain.

“It’s a wonderful thing that you’re doing. And your son’s name, Grant, to honor him in that way, he would be so proud of you,” said Felicia Turner with United Community Bank as she presented Donese with a check for $2,000.

“You have to keep going. No matter what life throws at you. And if I survived losing a child, you can survive anything,” Donese said.