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Peoria high alumni gives back to student who experienced loss

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:28 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Carlos Zolicoffer was about to start his final at Peoria high school when his sister, Charee Alexander, was stabbed and killed. He said Charee often spoke about wanting to start a clothing line with all of her siblings and the day after she passed, he and the rest of his sisters planned to make that dream come true.

“It was supposed to be an “us” thing so now I do it for her,” Zolicoffer said.

They named the clothing line ‘Together as 1′ and it became popular among high school students in Peoria. The success of the line after a tragedy inspired Zolicoffer to help someone who went through what he did to build their future.

“The person I picked today had hardships with his mother. She had passed,” Zolicoffer said. “I kind of see myself in him with my hardships with losing my sister right before my senior year.”

Zolicoffer gave the first Together as 1 scholarship to Peoria high school senior Eddie Clark. Clark was presented with the $1000 award at the school’s honors ceremony on Thursday.

“Knowing where he comes from and what he’s been through because I’ve been through a lot myself,” Clark said.

Clark lost his mother in 2020. He said the support of his community and football helped him get through.

“It feels good. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing people got your back and we’re trying to help you fulfill your goals. It’s a wonderful feeling,” Zolicoffer said.

Clark will attend McKendree University in the fall to play football and study business. He hoped to become an entrepreneur and wanted to give back to Peoria like the Zolicoffer.

Zolicoffer said he would continue the scholarship and hoped to branch out to different high schools.

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