A stack of papers on a cluttered table in Martha Benton’s apartment in the Douglass Homes public housing complex in Baltimore is the lasting testament to her son, who was stabbed to death when he was 24. The stack, reports a story The Baltimore Sun, contains entries for the Kelvin M. Benton Awards, an essay contest on drugs and education Benton set up for kids in public housing after her son’s killing a little over 15 years ago.
After her son was killed, she took money she received as donations and, with the help of the housing authority, set up the awards in his name. This year’s cash awards, totaling $500, are to be presented at next month’s meeting of the housing authority board. Benton says setting up the awards was part of her effort not to dwell on the circumstances of her son’s death, but to “live off the part that makes you whole.”