2015-08-28 / Obits

Darius Lord Vinson, 26

Community Activist, Role Model and Writer

Darius Lord Vinson, the only son of Denise L. Greig and Damon L. Vinson, was born on Oct. 1, 1988 in Forest Hills, N.Y. Darius passed away on Aug. 19.

From a young age, Darius showed potential for a life full of achievement and success. He attended P.S 105, where many of his teachers took notice of and praised his intellect. He then attended P.S/M.S. 43. While there he was the editor of the school newspaper. He was the focus of a full editorial in The Wave newspaper in recognition of his community service. He also received the Governor George Pataki Committee on Scholastic Achievement Award and the New York City Council Speaker’s Gifford Miller Achievement Award.

He was the recipient of two New York State Assembly Citizenship awards granted by former Queens Assemblywomen Michele Titus and Audrey Pheffer. Other honors included the Rockaway Rotary Club Award and The School and Community Working Together Award. He was also the recipient of the Rosemary Marchong Memorial Scholarship and winner of the Fun District 27’s Science and Social Studies Exit Project Fair Award.

During his tenure at George Westinghouse Information Technology High School, he received his Regents Diploma with Advanced Placement Honors and obtained his certification in AutoCAD Architectural Design. He was a member of the George Westinghouse Varsity Indoor/Outdoor Track Team and was involved with several civic programs: the Anti-Bullying Committee, iMentor, Quality Steering Committee, and the George Westinghouse Philanthropic Association. He was the only student to be nominated to the Westinghouse Leadership Team four years in a row.

In his senior year of high school, he developed a profound love for boxing and dedicated his life to the sport. One of his greatest achievements was becoming the first amateur fighter from Irish Ropes Golden Gloves, which lead to a victory in 2006.

Darius attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice and obtained two Bachelors’ degrees. He received his first Bachelor’s of Science in Police Studies in 2012 and obtained a second Bachelor’s of Arts in 2015 for Law and Society with certification in Dispute Resolution.

While attending John Jay, he was a USA Certified Athlete in the John Jay Boxing Program and USA Boxing Commission. He was the recipient of the Kenneth C. Hall Jr. Memorial Foundation Scholarship Fund. He completed his peer-reviewed thesis on Institutional Discrimination in Education. He assisted with the Annual Kay Pranis Restorative Justice Special Presentation. He was accepted into the Pre-Law Institute and was a Pre-Law Boot Camp Graduate. While there, he was awarded “Best Speaker” in the debates.

Darius devoted a great deal of his time as a volunteer by serving as a tutor for the John Jay writing workshops. He also volunteered at God’s Battalion Loving Care Center, where he helped with City Harvest. He was the cofounder of the Rockaway Ropes Boxing Facility, where he wrote grants to provide a safe home for at-risk youth in Rockaway. He also volunteered at the Parsons Beacon Junior High After-School Program. Most recently, he was a Peacemaker with the Red Hook Community Justice Center, where he served as a role model and mentor to at-risk youth.

Darius had specific goals that he wanted to achieve and he was determined and persistent in accomplishing them: becoming a criminal defense lawyer and a professional boxer. He faced many challenges in his life, which delayed efforts to achieve his objectives. The obstacles were due, for the most part, to failures within educational and legal systems, but he never lost sight of his dreams. He was a determined man who strived to reach all of his goals regardless of his circumstances. In doing so, he touched the hearts of many people that gave him the confidence to follow his amazing journey in life. Despite his constant hard work to achieve his goals, he also took part in many leisure activities such as skateboarding, surfing, writing and swimming.

Darius always loved spending time with his friends and family, whom he held very close to his heart. His charming, outgoing and friendly personality always made people smile. He had a special gift for motivating others to do the right thing and served as a role model to all. His kind heart made sure everyone around him was always happy. He consistently went out of his way to make others feel included. Most importantly he gave advice to all and always saw the best in people and pushed them to reach their full potential. Darius always wanted to keep his family together as one unit and reached above and beyond to build strong connections with them. He had a big heart and never let anyone go unrecognized. He will truly be missed in every aspect of his loved ones lives.

Proceeding Darius in death are his grandfathers Cleveland Vinson and Benjamin Greig. Darius is survived by his mother Denise Greig and his father Damon L. Vinson, his girlfriend Raveenga Perera, grandmothers - Jacqueline Vinson and Lorna Greig, great-grandmothers - Mamie Curry, Clarissa Waiters, uncles- Anthony Vinson, Che Vinson and Gregory Greig, aunts - Sharon, Angela and Dawn, great-aunts- Charlene Green, Rosetta Morris, Betty Ann Fludd, Yvonne Jackson and Venita Simmons, god brother Aaron Rivera and a host of cousins, nephews and nieces, other loving family members and friends.

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