Central Unified awards several scholarships in honor of slain student Janessa Ramirez

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Outside of Central High School's east campus, six graduating seniors gathered for a group photo Wednesday.

Each of them was receiving a scholarship in honor of Janessa Ramirez. She was killed three years ago when a stray bullet hit her while she was standing in front of a laundromat in West Central Fresno.

Janessa's mom, Stacey Gonzales, cannot help but think where her little girl would be if she were still alive.

"It's hard, it is hard," said Gonzales. "She would be going into 8th grade next year, so it's like wow."

Gonzales says what does bring her comfort in knowing her daughter's school district is remembering Janessa's life by offering $2,500 to students who make good grades, exhibit leadership skills and devote time to giving back to the community.

"I feel blessed that they are following through with what I asked in her honor, so it's nice," said Gonzales.

One of those students is Sumeet Kaur; she says she has spent countless hours volunteering with organizations like the SPCA, Red Cross and Saint Agnes Medical Center. It is work she plans to continue doing after using her scholarship for college at Fresno State.

"It's one of the scholarships that holds a big meaning for me, and it's like I can continue on this person's legacy and it makes me kinda proud," Kaur said.

The Central Unified School District says this year 45 students applied for the scholarship.
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