The Sydnor family lost their daughter to a stray bullet, but found a way to grace a young man on his voyage to Florida A&M University.
17-year-old Jamahri Syndor, was struck in the head by a bullet in the midst of a drive-by shooting on August 10. 2017 in Washington D.C, NBC reported. The teen was an incoming freshman to FAMU and perished from her injuries days before beginning her first day of college. Yet, her family found a way to aid others in their time of need.
Chris French, who’s now in his second semester as a music student at Florida A&M University, met the Sydnor family while visiting his mother in the intensive care unit at Washington Hospital Center. The 17-year-old’s aunt stopped French after seeing his FAMU visor and told him that her niece planned on attending the college, but they were waiting for the news of her condition.
“I was shocked,” the 19-year-old told Washington Post, he’d read about what happened to Jamahri earlier that day through a texting group.
French offered to pray for the family during their weary times. “I went home and prayed for them more,’ he said. Sadly, Jamahri died before he arrived at the hospital the next morning.
The then future FAMU student said he decided to give the family some distance, but Jamahri’s parents walked right up to him.
“They stopped me and made conversation, asked if I was ready for FAMU,” French said. “I told her mom I was really excited, I needed to hurry and buy things for my dorm before everything (in the stores) was gone.” What the Sydnor family did next, took him by complete surprise.
Jamahri’s mother, Police Sgt. Que Sydnor Wallace, asked French to stop by the house and pick up a box full of FAMU items the family had bought for their daughter.
“This wasn’t something we thought about, it wasn’t planned… We saw Chris had on his FAMU hat and we realized, this is what she would want. Jahmahri was so giving and even after her death she has had an impact,” the mother said.
“I didn’t know how to accept all these things from her especially because of what happen to Jamahri, but her mother wouldn’t let me say no and I couldn’t stop thanking her! … I was overwhelmed, shocked, grateful, excited, appreciative, and sad,” said French’s mother. I also just prayed for them, I felt hurt and helpless but hopeful knowing God would heal and grant Jamarhi’s mother peace of mind,” French said.
The 19-year-old left the house with a box full of school essentials and $200 in his pocket, Washington Post reported.
“He blessed us by praying for us. So, we blessed him in the same way Jamahri would have. We impacted someone’s life through her and I feel like he’s a son now,” Que said.
French added, “After her [Jamahri] life ended, she is still able to affect someone else’s life.”
My mother was in the same ICU as Jamahri. As I was leaving, wearing a FAMU hat, her family stopped me, & told me who they were, and I prayed with them. Due to me tending to my mom post-surgery, I hadn’t been able to dorm shop yet. Her family blessed me w/ EVERYTHING I needed. https://t.co/cGO0SAFuu1
— Chris French (@thechrisfrench) April 3, 2018