Dance scholarship created in honor of Jayden Perkins, boy fatally stabbed while defending mom from attack

Two months ago, an attacker fatally stabbed 11-year-old Jayden Perkins as he attempted to defend his pregnant mother and her unborn child. The attacker was the ex-boyfriend of Perkins’ mother. Perkins was viciously attacked, along with his mother, who survived the stabbing, according to CBS News.

A few weeks after his death, Perkins, who would have turned 12 this month, will have a dance scholarship named in his honor. He was a celebrated dancer at Gus Giordano Dance School in Chicago, where he started dancing when he was 8 years old.

The Gus Giordano Dance School in Andersonville hosted a performance on Thursday, May 16, 2024, to mark the creation of a scholarship in Perkins’ honor. Meanwhile, the Gus Giordano Dance School is accepting donations for Perkins’ scholarship, which they plan to award annually.

Perkins’ mother Laterria Smith attended the event and said the dance school was his son’s safe haven.

“It just touches me. It touches me because, like, I don’t want to cry, but my son means everything to me,” Smith said to WLS after her son’s troupe-mates performed some of his favorite dances. “I’m doing good. I’m doing good. I am because my son is with me at all times, and he’s watching over me.”

Smith shied away from discussing the stabbing case, saying there would be another time for it. She said that Thursday night was about Perkins’ true legacy: a memorial scholarship in his name.

“For any child who’s passionate about dancing or wants to move forward in dancing, and they don’t really have the funds for it, this scholarship will really help them,” she said.

Perkins’ mother said the videos and memories of his time in the studio give her mother comfort.

“I love the videos. I can’t stop watching them,” she said. “Especially when he was singing Michael Jackson.”

“And he knew he was going to make it; he would’ve succeeded. He practiced every day at home, singing, dancing, and I would just hear his beautiful voice, like baby you’ve got it,” Smith added.

Meanwhile, one of Perkins’ best friends has become the first recipient of the Jayden Perkins Memorial Scholarship.

“I just hear him now, how happy he is,” Smith said. “And that for me, as his mom, to not give up. To keep going. To keep going and do everything I can for all the other kids.”

In March, Perkins attempted to defend his pregnant mother from her ex-boyfriend, Crosetti Brand, who had just been released from prison. Brand, 37, allegedly stabbed the boy in the chest and the 33-year-old pregnant woman before being arrested.

The accused had been paroled from Steville Correctional Center where he had been serving a 16-year sentence for home invasion and aggravated assault, according to the New York Post. Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said Brand forced his way into his ex-girlfriend’s home in Edgewater, Illinois, and “brutally attacked” the family.

Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti revealed that the mother, who had a long-standing order of protection against Brand, had dated the felon over 15 years ago.

Brand faces multiple charges including attempted murder, home invasion with a dangerous weapon, domestic battery, robbery with a dangerous weapon, felon possession of a weapon, and violation of an Order of Protection, according to charging documents.

Abu Mubarik

Abu Mubarik is a journalist with years of experience in digital media. He loves football and tennis.

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