Stonecrest mom launches foundation to honor late daughterHigh School graduation photo of Kennedy Maria Segars. Photo submitted by Quvada Moreland.
Stonecrest, GA — Kennedy Maria Segars, a Decatur High graduate, was a bright, caring young woman who always did what she could to help others. She was destined to be a young person of purpose.
“My baby,” Segars’ mother Quvada Moreland said when asked to describe her daughter.
Segars worked at Mod Pizza and every night she would come home with boxes of pizza. She often worked late and while stopping for gas she would give pizza to homeless people she encountered.
“It just [never] ceased to amaze me like she wasn’t afraid,” Moreland said. “Whereas we have so much going on in this world and me being so fearful like I don’t need you stopping to get gas at night and you’re by yourself. But she was never afraid and just the kindness of her — she always cared about what a person was going through.”
Segars was killed in a car accident in October 2018. The driver of the car that hit her was charged with DUI, WSB-TV reported.
Segars, 18, was a freshman at Alabama State University on a full ride scholarship and was an aspiring attorney.
After Segars’ death, a vigil was held at Decatur High School and people who came up to Moreland said Segars was an angel to them because of her many random acts of kindness.
To honor Segars’ legacy, her mother, Moreland launched the Kennedy Maria Segars Foundation on May 14, 2021, which would have been her 21st birthday.
The mission of the foundation is to personally, academically and professionally empower young people of color through guidance and education, according to the foundation’s website.
Moreland had a landscaper create the retaining wall and garden and Moreland showed him a picture of Segars and said, “I need you to create me something that was just as beautiful as she was, inside and out.”
Moreland hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at her home on May 14 and she said the process of launching the foundation and recreating her backyard has been amazing.
“Sometimes I’m taken aback because I just remember when I first started thinking about what I wanted to create and I just remember every time I turned around I was adding a little piece at a time,” Moreland said.
“When I tell you the look on my family and friends [faces] and people who come to visit, the look on their face, they’re just blown away,” Moreland said. “All I heard that day was individuals, family and friends, telling me Kennedy would be so proud.”
Moreland started working on the foundation in May 2020 with the help of some family friends. Nassim Ashford grew up with Segars and has a business where he helps people start foundations. The two worked together to launch the foundation.
“I kind of felt that was a sign for me to go ahead and make that move,” Moreland said.
The foundation also consists of a garden of 20 blue hydrangeas in Moreland’s backyard to honor Segars and Moreland’s parents. Moreland also lost her father on the same day she lost her daughter. She can’t wait to see the flowers bloom.
“[I] created the idea that I wanted to have this beautiful garden, something that I can look out at every day,” Moreland said, adding that Segars’ favorite color was blue.
Moreland never really had a green thumb before and wasn’t interested in being outside taking care of plants. But she loves being in her new garden and singing to the plants and nurturing them, she said.
“I love it because the energy and the spirit that I feel, I really feel like oh my goodness my baby, my angel, she’s back here and she sees this,” Moreland said.
To focus on education, Moreland hopes to do book bag drives. She also wants to focus the first drive on Edward L. Bouie Elementary School, where Segars went to school, and hopefully expand from there to collect supplies for Renfroe Middle School.
The Decatur Education Foundation additionally has a scholarship for students that is in honor of Segars, who attended Renfroe Middle School and Decatur High School.
She also hopes to give eventually away a Chromebook laptop to a young, deserving student at Edward L. Bouie Elementary School, Moreland said.
Moreland is beginning her work in Stonecrest to help her community with completing college or job applications and other every day tasks.
“Teaching financial literacy, that’s one of the first sessions that me and my team want to conduct…just teaching young adults how to manage their money for those who aren’t necessarily going to college but just within the community teaching them everyday necessities of life that they need,” Moreland said.
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