Scholarship honors boy who suffered abuse and couldn’t attend school

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 June 2015 at 12:00 am

Devante Boston, 17, has been in healthcare facility after assault when he was 4

Provided photo – Mindy Cogovan, aunt of Devante Boston, presents a $1,850 check to scholarship winner Matthew Cochrane, while Devante’s great aunt Phyllis Winters looks on. Devante’s family and friends created the one-time scholarship for a Medina student pursuing a medical career. Devante would have graduated with the Class of 2015.

MEDINA – Devante Boston will turn 18 on June 13. He should have graduated with the Class of 2015 later this month.

But Devante has been hospitalized or in a healthcare facility since he was 4. He has never been able to attend school.

Devante suffered brain damage in May 2002 when David Ricks threw him against the wall. Ricks was sentenced to a maximum 20-year sentence in state prison for first-degree assault.

Ricks, now 37, is in Wyoming Correctional Facility in Attica. He could be conditionally released on July 2019.

Devante has been unable to walk or talk since the assault. He is in a healthcare facility in Buffalo and his family said he functions at about a 6-month-old’s level.

Some of his family members pushed to start BRAVE (Bringing Real Awareness to Victimization Everywhere) about 11 years ago. The group tries to advocate for victims of crimes and their families.

BRAVE and Devante’s family wanted to create the one-time scholarship this year for a member of the Class of 2015 who will study for a medical career. Matthew Cochrane is going into the field of neuroscience. He was presented the scholarship last week.

Devante’s great aunt Phyllis Winters wanted to create the scholarship and hoped to raise $1,000 from family, friends and BRAVE. They were able to give $1,850.

“I just wanted to honor Devante because I knew he wouldn’t be walking across that stage,” Winters said today.

There were eight applicants and Cochrane stood out.

“We wanted to give back to a person going into the medical field because the health care field is all that Devante knows,” Winters said.