Individuals who wish to support the family of Arianna Davis may do so through this GoFundMe page. Individuals who wish to support the family of Jefferson Luna-Perez may do so through this GoFundMe page.
DC SCORES mourns the loss of two students in our community, 10-year-old Arianna Davis and 17-year-old Jefferson Luna-Perez.
Arianna was a student at Neval Thomas Elementary School and a member of the Thomas DC SCORES team. She passed away on May 17 after sustaining wounds from stray bullets while driving home from Mother’s Day celebrations with her family on May 14.
17-year-old Jefferson Luna-Perez was a student at Roosevelt High School and an alumnus of the DC SCORES program at Raymond Education Campus. He died after being shot in his school parking lot on May 17.
We are heartbroken that Arianna and Jefferson were victims of such extreme violence. They were both valued members of our community and deeply loved by their families, friends, and teachers. The impact of their loss is immeasurable and we extend our deepest condolences to their loved ones. We ask the DC SCORES community to hold them in our hearts as they grieve.
Arianna’s DC SCORES coaches describe her as caring, motivational, supportive, and loving. She was known as the big sister of the team and was affectionately referred to as “Junior Coach” because of her dedication to the school’s Junior SCORES team for 1st and 2nd graders. Arianna always looked out for younger players’ needs, showing them how to play soccer and try their hardest. Her coaches say that Arianna was the team’s biggest cheerleader and that they will always miss her smile and the joy she brought to everyone.
Jefferson stood out as a skilled and supportive soccer player who his Raymond coaches say was a privilege to coach. On the soccer field, he played with heart, passion, and non-stop energy. Jefferson stayed connected with Raymond through his younger siblings and was known in the Raymond community as a caring older brother who was a regular at school pick-up. His coaches say they will cherish their memories of him as a talented and kind player, teammate, and friend.
Jefferson and Arianna are among 7 child homicide victims in the District this year alone. They deserved a childhood that was safe, carefree, and joyful; one that allowed them to grow into adulthood.
We have already lost too many children to gun violence. DC SCORES calls upon our elected officials, policy-makers, and community leaders to end gun violence in DC and ensure that our children are kept safe at school, in their homes, and in their neighborhoods.
Tragic events like these are all too familiar for DC SCORES poet-athletes. At our annual poetry slam in November, Thomas students performed a poem calling for an end to shootings in their neighborhood and expressing their concern that children in their community would die. This week, their worst fears were realized.
We hope for a day when gun violence is no longer a feature of our poet-athletes’ writing because it is no longer a feature of their neighborhoods. Until then, we will continue to provide brave spaces for children in DC to share their stories and their visions for a safer future.
We will remember Arianna and Jefferson for their caring natures, their commitment to other young people, and their dedication to their teammates. The poem below, “Friends,” was written by Arianna and her DC SCORES teammates last season. We ask you to reflect on their message of community and kindness and on the lives of two young people who should have been looking ahead to bright futures.
Executive Director, DC SCORES
Poem by the DC SCORES Team at Neval Thomas Elementary School
Friends are like family. You see,
When you meet a good friend, that’s what they’ll be.
They make you feel like you belong.
A friend tells you when you’re right and when you’re wrong.
Friends keep secrets that are deep.
Keep it close to their heart and never repeat.
They accept you for who you are,
Even if you don’t become a star.
You will laugh, play, and cry together.
Even through the stormy weather.
You may not always agree with a friend,
But they’ll stick by you til the end.
You may disagree and then make up,
Even on bad days, they won’t give up.
Always be a good friend indeed.
Be sure not to choose a bad seed.
Good friends are true, and it’s easy to see.
If you’re looking for a friend, you got a friend in me!