Slain Rustin High School Graduate Lives on Through Memorial Scholarships

Slain Rustin High School Graduate Lives on Through Memorial Scholarships

Recipients of the Bianca Roberson Memorial Scholarship

Marissa Orlando (left,) Michelle Roberson, Miyah Thomas-Mazyck, superintendent Dr. Jim Scanlon

Two Rustin High School seniors received scholarships this year in memory of Bianca Roberson, whose life was tragically cut short after her graduation from the school in 2017. Miyah Thomas-Mazyck received the Rustin High School Bianca Roberson Memorial Scholarship. Marissa Orlando was awarded the Bianca Roberson Memorial Scholarship through the Bianca Nikol Merge with Mercy Foundation. Bianca's mother, Michelle Roberson, was on hand at the Rustin High School senior assembly on May 31 to present the scholarships.

The Bianca Nikol Merge with Mercy Foundation was created by Roberson to give her a new purpose in life after the death of her daughter due to a senseless act of gun violence. Roberson also lost her son Mykel Rowley in 2013. The foundation's mission is to raise awareness about the impact of gun violence, providing emotional support, educational assistance, advocacy, and ongoing outreach initiatives. The organization also holds fundraisers to be able to offer scholarships to Rustin seniors attending college and youths who want to attend summer camps.

"I was a mom to two wonderful children, and now they are both gone. I didn't know what else to do. I feel as though the world today is out of whack and Merge with Mercy came about because we should be able to merge with other human beings without feeling that we could lose our lives just by coming into contact with another human being," said Roberson.

The scholarships are awarded to the Rustin High School students who share many of Bianca's qualities; specifically, students who have successfully overcome personal challenges to find academic growth and responsibility, as well as display a positive, friendly, and upbeat attitude and loyalty to their friends.

Students had to write an essay describing the challenges they had overcome during their high school academic career.

"Bianca lost her brother to muscular dystrophy when she entered 9th grade. Mykel was her best friend, and when she lost him, she really didn't know what to do, but she persevered. She figured it out and made it through," said Roberson.

Roberson would like to see common sense gun laws put into place so that no other parent has to suffer the same heartache. "How many more kids do we need to bury? How many more mothers or fathers will stand over the coffin of their young child?"

"They were the loves of my lives. They both had hearts of gold. They were pure. It's a void. It's the biggest void in my life. I miss them so much. I ache so badly inside. They both would've made such a big impact on this world. Bianca wanted to be an FBI agent. She wanted to take care of this world and make it a better place. She wanted to help to try and get rid of bad people, but bad people took her out before she had the chance to do what she wanted to do."

The Merge with Mercy 2nd Annual "Walk for Me" 2.5k walk to end gun violence will be held on Sunday, August 4, 2019, from 8:00 am - 2:00 pm at East Goshen Township Park. For more information, visit