By Vaun Mayes, Special to OnMilwaukee   Published Aug 29, 2019 at 6:01 PM

20-year-old community advocate Quanita "Tay" Jackson was shot and killed Sunday evening. The following is a tribute from community activist and Program the Parks founder Vaun Mayes. 

What is a leader? What do dreams look like? Who are the chosen ones? What is a friend? What is support? How can we recognize God?

I wish I was you at 20 years old. I wish I had more time with you, knowing now what I know. I'd pull up a chair and ask that you teach us more. Around you, smiles and laughs were mandatory. Success was a must. Progress was required. The phrase "I can't" didn't exist.

Today, I myself must reflect and regroup. Here I am thinking I was the example for you. Thinking I was YOUR mentor. How foolish of me. Of U.S. When we think of veterans, living and dying in service, we don't think of the soldiers of our own community, doing exactly the same. 

I promised your family I was on a mission. To let your purpose live and continue. To honor the living essence of who we all know we should be. To have purpose is to have life. It took you being taken from us to realize it, but on this day, I say for us all:

Now we get it.