"Be the change you want to see in the world."
Within his short sixteen years on earth, Raphael Sadonte Ward, the bright-eyed prankster with the infectious personality, managed to leave a mark on the hearts of everyone he encountered in his life. His eyes glimmered a royal passion for life while the purity of his spirit pierced your soul before he ever spoke a word. Sadonte’s carefree mentality made his life that much more exciting and worth living. He welcomed the chaos of his reality and possibilities of the unknown – never once with an ounce of fear, but always with enthusiasm and a spirit to win.
It is the belief that though many of his dreams had yet to be realized, Sadonte’s love of life and the immense elation he brought to those around him, would have led him to have an admirable and valued effect on both his community and the world as a whole. And it is within that vast hope that the family has chosen to reside. With horizons yet to be conquered, the life of Sadonte - our son, brother, and friend has inspired us all to live as if there are no borders.
The light left by Sadonte continues to illuminate the lives of those who now carry on his dreams. It is the wealth of positive opportunities born from such tragedy which has led those touched by Sadonte’s light to continue on with efforts to nurture, guide, and educate the youth in a positive direction in hopes that another light will not be prematurely dimmed by one of their peers.
All we have is the now- to change the world for the better. With the stories of Sadonte and many young men like him who weren’t afforded the opportunity to write their own history, we have been given a constant reminder to be kind, be clever, be creative, be jovial, be spontaneous and be bold as we live our lives to the fullest.
May we all leave behind a legacy quilted in being ourselves, sharing our hearts, and inspiring all those we encounter, just as our prince has done.