BY MARJORIE ACOSTA
A scar is all that remains of the bullet that pierced through 11 year old Tyrek Collins’ leg just over a month ago. On a normal Tuesday night in July, the North Side Panthers Youth Football team met up for a pre-season scrimmage. In the blink of an eye the usual sounds of children’s laughter and coach’s whistles are replaced by gunshots.
Just a month after the shooting, Tyrek is back on the field as the starting Quarterback for the North Side Panthers. In spite of the odds, Tyrek continues to push through his recovery. Many thought the psychological effects would keep him off the field, but Tyrek has a powerful source of strength saying, “My mom always told me, don’t ever let anything hurt me inside and still do what I want to do.”
The scar on his leg is not only a reminder of what he’s been through, but a symbol of what he can achieve. As a quarter back, Tyrek is a leader for the North Side Panthers. As a survivor, he’s a figure of hope for his community.