Four or five times a day, Angel Howell gets giant knots in her stomach when she realizes her baby girl, 15 year-old Krysta Howell, will never walk back through the door.
Back in May, Angel knew that Krysta was going to graduation parties, but never dreamed it would end the way it did.
“She went with somebody else to that party and left with other people. We have always taught Krysta don’t be afraid to call home and Krysta has always been a protective friend,” Angels said. “She always thought she could help somebody or save their life, she would risk her own, and I believe in my heart that’s what she thought she was doing.”
Krysta hopped into a car driven by 17 year-old Takunda Mavima and four others. Mavima, who later admitted to being drunk, failed to negotiate the Chicago off-ramp from I-196, went off the roadway and overturned. Krysta along with 17 year-old Timothy See were killed.
Mavima was sentenced 30 months to 15 years behind bars.
“We don’t have any anger or hate for Takunda, you know these are Krysta’s friends and it goes all around with friends and graduation parties and these parties happen and these kids are there and they all make mistakes.” Angel said.
Krysta was actually very proactive in the community.
“There’s always been a lot of angelic with Krysta since she was born. I worked with network 180 for 12 years and she would be like my shadow and she worked for Wedgewood for Hip Hop and they went around the community against drugs and alcohol.” Angel added.
Angel knows Krysta made a mistake getting into the car along with the others, but she is now vowing to open eyes and bring awareness through a non-profit called K.R.Y.S.T.A Kares Awareness. It is dedicated “educating youth and teens about the dangers of Adults providing alcohol to minors, underage drinking, drug use, texting while driving and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. “ It also provides outreach, activity plans and scholarships to youth and teens who uphold its ideals.
“I eat breathe and sleep my daughter so this is something that’s coming from our hearts and that’s the important thing.” Angel added.
There will be a fundraiser Spaghetti Dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12 at Resurrection Life Church, 5100 Ivanrest Ave SW, Grandville. Cost is just $8 which also includes salad, bread sticks and a drink. There will be silent auctions, raffles along with t-shirts and bracelets for sale.
Pictures of Krysta are all around Howell’s home, Krysta’s school bag even sits where she left it and Angel believes Krysta sent them a four-legged friend.
“We’ve always gotten her cats and they were always the meanest cats, this kitten was so loveable.” Angel said. “Her name is Skittles and her name comes from Krysta’s favorite candy was Skittles, actually Sour Skittles.”
Skittles and the non-profit work have proven to be very therapeutic for Angel.