When Trey Askew steps across the stage and receives his high school diploma next Friday, he will be doing so with gratitude in his heart.
Trey will be thankful, he said, mostly to God but also to coaches and mentors like Monica Turner at Greenville High School, who helped Trey not just get back on his feet but to start racing the trails of life with more vigor than he had ever imagined.
Almost three years ago, Trey was a high school student in Memphis when his life was changed forever while walking home from a basketball game one night. All Trey remembers was the flash of a porch light before blacking out. Trey would find out days later that a car had hit him on his walk home. The driver of this hit and run has never been found.
Trey lay unconscious the entire night before being found the next morning by a police officer. Trey’s backpack was found more than 20 yards away from his wounded body.
Doctors and his family members feared the worse. They wondered if he would ever wake up, and if he did, would he have permanent brain damage.
After two days of heavy praying, Trey eventually did wake up. And his long journey to recovery began.
At first, even the things that once seemed simple proved monumental. For days, Trey could not even feel the left side of his body. It took him weeks to be able to walk up a flight of stairs.
But, Trey kept working at it and kept getting stronger.
Then, his whole life changed for the better when he moved with his other siblings to Greenville.
The next school year Trey decided to run track, and the rest became history. Under the training of Greenville High School head track coach Monica Turner, Trey has gotten stronger and stronger as a runner each year. This track season he was so strong, in fact, he managed to qualify for the state Class 6A State Track Meet in the 300 hurdles.
Trey says his track accomplishments and his classwork accomplishment (Trey will graduate with honors Friday) are the result of help from others.
“I ran track to get my self back in shape and my coach Monica Turner and others help me get where I needed to be,” Trey said. “Not only can I run 3 miles but I run hurdles as well. I just want to thank them all.”
Trey also wants to thank his family.”
“I love my family and I want to thank my mom Donnita Askew and my aunts, Neka Askew, Tete BigBaby, Aunt Mani, Jayed Richardson, and Jeremy Richardson and my grandmothers for not giving up on me.”
Trey’s next step, he said, is to join the Army National Guard and then go to college to pursue a degree in criminal justice.
Wherever his life takes him, he knows there are people who care about him walking right beside him, he said.
“I have been given a second chance, and I want to live my life and make them proud,” Trey said.