INDIANAPOLIS — Marilyn Johnson said she couldn’t leave her own mother’s apartment for two months after her daughter Secoya Williams, 25, was gunned down outside of a northwest side nightclub last February.

”You have to learn to get up every day, put one foot in front of the other and it would help if you focused on the good and the life that your child lived versus the death of it,” Johnson said.

Johnson did just that by organizing an upcoming birthday celebration for her daughter on February 11th where she will hand out scholarships to recipients who, like her daughter, have overcome adversity.

”I’m giving out scholarships to students at Warren Central High School and Renaissance High School. I’m giving a daycare award to a mom or dad who’s going to daycare but can’t afford it sometimes,” she said. ”I learned that there are a lot of people out there who are in the situation that my daughter used to be in and I learned that even through adversity they learned to overcome.”

Secoya was killed after attending a rap performance by a lifelong friend.

The accused killer and her sister were also friends of the rapper.

”From what they say it was very senseless. It was uncalled for,” said Johnson. “It was how they were able to catch her that quickly because everybody told where it was and who she was.”

Even though Secoya was the 32nd homicide victim of 2022, her mother wanted her life and death to mean more than a statistic.

”I wanted to honor her life instead of memorializing her death,” said Johnson. ”I don’t even know if I’ve actually started my grieving process so I’m just basically turning my grief into giving.”

Johnson said she is still accepting support to finance more scholarships and reservations for the birthday celebration at her daughter’s Facebook site.