BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) – A Lowcountry parent wants to give kids the tools they need to stay safe and stay out of danger.
That’s because she doesn’t want any parent to deal with the grief she’s experienced in her son’s death.
“Dominique had his entire life ahead of him,” said Rudy Milton about her son, Dominique.
On July 19, 2015, the 17-year-old was shot and killed on Coligny Beach on Hilton Head Island.
His killer, John Duncan, was just 15.
“I wish I could explain to you what it is like to close a casket on your child,” said a tearful Milton. “I can’t explain it. I never want that for anybody to have to do that.”
Milton created the Walk for Dom foundation, including a scholarship, to allow others to continue her son’s love of music.
The next step — Indomitable Greatness program — a youth empowerment program to inspire young people to strive for excellence and excel academically, mentally and socially.
“I wanted to give youth a chance to live out their dreams because Dominique didn’t have that chance,” Milton said.
The goal of the program, which runs Saturday, July 31, is to give kids aged 10 to 20 options — to let them see that they can shine under something other than police lights.
“So that they can stay active in school,” Milton added, “Be productive, just do something you are passionate about.”
“Just bring awareness for what we have available, mental health awareness, drug abuse awareness,” she continued, “Programs for the youth, Boys and Girls club, mentoring programs. People need to be aware and know that people care about the kids in your community.”
Todd Malloy, a motivational speaker and licensed therapist, will be the keynote speaker at the program. Attendees will also be able to interact with representatives from various community organizations, such as:
- Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department
- Bluffton Police Department
- Boys and Girls Club (Hilton Head Island & Bluffton)
- Lowcountry Alliance for Healthy Youth
- Moms Demand Action
- National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)
“They can expect trust, they can expect to walk away knowing more than when they walked in. A lot of information, a lot of awareness. They can expect love and smiles. I just want everybody to connect. To know that you are not alone,” said Milton. “There are a lot of parents like myself that are on this journey and I don’t want them to feel like they are alone. But I also want parents who are going through this that there are resources out there to help them.”
For Milton, this helps her to know that Dominique may be gone, but his spirit lives on in teaching and protecting other families from becoming the next victim of tragedy.
“What would Dominique say to you?” WSAV asked Milton.
“Mom, you are helping so many people. Keep going. Don’t stop,” she said.
The program will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, at Bluffton Middle School, located at 30 Mustang Drive in Bluffton.
The Indomitable Greatness program is open to middle school, high school and college students, as well as parents and anyone who works with youth.