#BeLikeCJ: Parents of teen killed in ATV accident honor him with foundation

Cedrick Harris Jr.
Cedrick Harris Jr.(belikecj.com)
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 11:48 AM CDT
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ASHDOWN, Ark. (KSLA) - A tragic accident in 2021 left an Ashdown, Ark. teen dead, shocking many in this small southwest Arkansas city. Now, his family and other community leaders are working to keep the teen’s memory alive.

“He was a model student who had impact on other students’ lives,” said Cedric and Marie Harris, CJ’s parents.

During spring break of 2021,CJ Harris was killed in an ATV accident in the parking lot of Ashdown Junior High School. Since his death, CJ’s family has established a non-profit foundation to honor the 14-year-old.

“Anything that we can do to touch young people’s lives, that’s what the foundation is about,” CJ’s parents said.

The Harrises say the foundation is working to provide free clothing to students in the area. During the last weekend in August, the first clothing giveaway event took place. Foundation members and other community volunteers dropped off new and used clothing items for those in need. CJ’s parents say they decided to do this because their son believed others should have instead of himself.

“And he would say, ‘Mom, the clothes don’t matter.’ CJ just cared about making other people feel good about themselves and making others feel like rockstars. He would go without and let others have. That was just his heart,” said Marie.

Marie says if a family is in need of school clothing, they can go to the foundation’s website, or email belikeCJfoundation@gmail.com.

“He was a very humble kid and he developed a lot of relationships, great relationships with a lot of people,” CJ’s parents said. “What better way to honor CJ than to give to families in need?”

Marie says they’re planning a coat giveaway for the upcoming winter season, but the date has not been set yet.