September 27th, 2019
Chorus sings at ceremony for domestic violence
WED. | 12-13-23 | NEWS
Almost 11 years ago, former Rose Alumna, Jamie Kimball was brutally shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend. Caityln Whitehurts was also involved in an incident where she was shot and killed four years ago, resulting in her becoming a murder-suicide victim. Another incident similar to this happened earlier this summer, when one of Peo’s former students, Jasmine Cooper from EB Aycock was murdered by her fiance.
Stephanie Peo, part-time choral director at Rose and EB Aycock, was a former teacher of Cooper. Peo and her chorus have been working to prioritize the recognition of Cooper and the other several victims of domestic violence.
“That hit really close to home for me,” Peo said. “I also know people who have been in situations like that and didn't
Photo by Rayleigh Hopkins
know they had a way to get help and it impacted them and their children because of the traumatic experiences they had.”
Several years ago, president of the Center for Family Violence Prevention Laura King, asked Peo to have her chorus students sing for the virtual conference that King was hosting. Peo’s choir was asked to perform again at a later time.
The Center for Family Violence Prevention is a non-profit agency that serves domestic violence victims in Pitt, Martin and Washington Counties. By supporting victims, this agency helps to provide a safe and educational environment for those who want to restart their journey and heal from their experiences.
On Wednesday, Nov. 8, the chorus hosted a dedication ceremony after school at 4:00 pm for the Family Violence Prevention Center. The chorus sang two songs for this agency in the courtyard. These songs were sung in the order of Credo and Count the Stars, because of the message these songs conveyed.
“Who are we as young people, not rich and powerful people, to think we can make a difference in the lives of other people?” Peo said. “And Credo answers it by saying ‘I am imagination, determination and creativity’.”
Members of the center, family and friends of Kimball and others who have been involved with similar traumatic experiences attended the event.
During this memorial, the name ‘Jamie Kimball’ was engraved on a bench in the courtyard. The Center for Family Violence Prevention had the bench designed and ordered as a dedication to Kimball and her family.
“I thought the ceremony went well and the weather was perfect,” Peo said.
Another way to make an impact for those in domestic violence situations is through the consignment stores, My Sister’s Attic and My Sister’s Closet which fulfill the mission of The Center for Family Violence Prevention. Each store has its own way of donating to the center. Anyone can donate, buy clothing or buy furniture from these stores.
Peo believes it is pivotal to have a society that welcomes victims of abuse and provides a learning environment for the ones who have been through stages of distress.
“They often go unrecognized or unmentioned because people don't want to talk about the fact that this type of violence exists,” Peo said. “This needs to stop and change and these people deserve to have their names said out loud; they deserve to be able to live a life where they feel safe and we want to help to create that environment for people.”