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Mentorship program started in Davon McNeal's honor provides free therapy services for the community

Two weeks after the tragic death of 11-year-old Davon McNeal, one man wants to honor his life by helping others.

WASHINGTON — Almost every day for the last two weeks, there have been marches and rallies demanding justice for 11-year-old Davon McNeal.

Rayvon Wills helped to organize a march from the football field where the 11-year-old played to the spot he was killed two weeks ago. 

"I just believe everyone is fed up. It could’ve been any one of our kids or any one of our nephews or nieces, or our grandchildren and enough is enough," said Wills.

Wills said more than 600 people showed up seeking justice for McNeal. 

"I will never forget that day as long as I live, and that is the motivation I have to just keep going to keep making a difference that we are," said Wills.

Wills started the mentorship program called Rebels with a Cause, in honor of McNeal. 

"You can be a doctor, you can be a lawyer, you can be a scientist, you can be anything you put your mind to. If you study really hard and you try to block out the outside, you can become a great person and still make a great living just being a person that contributes to the community," McNeal said.

Wills said a big part of their work is providing free therapy services. It is a cause close to his heart after losing his own father.

"My father committed suicide 10 years ago. It haunts me every other day or so and I always wonder what I could’ve done differently," said Wills.

Wills teamed up with Porsche Williams, who is a military veteran and the founder of the suicide intervention organization called Restore Life.

"My message is always, 'it’s okay not to be okay but you need to reach out.' It is important to reach out, that’s my biggest message," said Williams.

Credit: Nicole DiAntonio

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"People talk about wanting to see a change, but being a part of the change that you want to see is essential. Our generation, we are doing it. We are making big steps and moving forward, and not just saying what we want to see, we are actually out there in the streets and we are putting in the work in our communities and I’m just so very grateful to be a part of all of it," said Williams.

On Friday, family and friends gathered near Anacostia High School where a "Celebration of Life" service took place.

Two men have been arrested in connection to 11-year-old Davon McNeal's murder, but DC police have issued arrest warrants for two more men. Police said all four men have violent, gun-related criminal histories. 

Daryle Bond, 18, of Southeast, D.C. was arrested and charged with first-degree murder while armed on Thursday. Christian Wingfield, 22, of Hillcrest Heights, Maryland was arrested and charged with first-degree murder last week.

"I don’t want kids to live without a parents the way I did. if I can stop that in anyway possible, I would do that. I would do that 1,000 times," said McNeal.

Credit: Nicole DiAntonio

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