Anthony Jerome McAllister, Ayana’s Father & Hero
“It’s better to build a child than to repair a broken adult.”
Anthony Jerome McAllister is a husband, father, and leader in the Alexandria, Virginia, and Prince George’s County Maryland communities. He has diligently served the city of Alexandria, Virginia for the past 25 years as a Juvenile Probation/Parole Officer. In this capacity, he has assisted many youth and families move from a place of trouble to become vital and in some cases prominent members of their communities and society. Described by colleagues as a team player who is both compassionate and a dedicated leader, Anthony is an ordained Deacon at Galilee Baptist Church where his family have served since 2007.
As a dedicated father and head of his household, Anthony has been happily married to his wife Tyreese for the past 25 years. This loving union was blessed with two beautiful daughters N’Daja Lyndze and Ayana Jazmyn. Both daughters since birth have been the apples of Anthony’s eye. As they grew up, he played a very active role in every aspect of their lives. In 2016 Anthony was made proud when both girls entered St. Augustine’s University, his alma mater. Ayana’s untimely death by gun violence while she and her sister, N’Daja were home on spring break is the most devastating thing that Anthony has had to endure. Despite the tragic and untimely loss of his daughter, he continues to serve the community in an attempt to steer young adults from living a life of crime.
Anthony is also a proud 30-year member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., currently serving in the Gamma Pi Chapter, Prince Georges County Maryland.
Tyreese McAllister, Ayana’s Mother & Shero
Tyreese R. McAllister, LPC, CSOTP is a licensed mental health practitioner, with over 25 years’ experience in the fields of emergency mental health, substance abuse, and public health helping individuals experiencing both crisis and traumatic events in Washington, DC, metropolitan area. She currently serves as the Director of Crisis Services and an expert consultant throughout the United States. Despite the tragic and untimely loss of her daughter, she continues to serve the community while increasing her own personal and professional worth. Tyreese is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Psychology degree with a concentration in Criminology and Justice.
As a woman of strong faith and a seasoned professional, Mrs. McAllister has turned her pain into a passion to help others. Immediately, after the death of her daughter, she publicly declared forgiving the person who killed Ayana, explaining that being angry will not bring Ayana back and it will impede the important work that needs to be done in the community. She believes that no mother should have to bury their child, no mother should have to visit their child in prison. She believes that both sides of the street have to be cleaned for everyone to enjoy the community. Her conviction is ‘We need to save children from being murdered and we need to save children before they become murderers.’
While serving her community and developing her career, Mrs. McAllister balanced her professional life with her beloved family. She has been the wife of Anthony McAllister for 25 years. Together they had two beautiful daughters, N’Daja Lyndze and Ayana Jazmyn.
N’Daja Lyndze McAllister, Ayana’s Sister & Best Friend
N’Daja Lyndze McAllister is a sophomore attending St. Augustine’s University, in Raleigh, NC. She is attending her father’s alma mata, but following in her mother’s footsteps by pursing a degree in Psychology. Consistent with the McAllister family values, she is pursuing a career in a helping profession.
N’Daja was born in 1997 to the parents of Anthony and Tyreese McAllister. Thirteen months after her birth, her little sister Ayana Jazmyn was born. That became N’Daja’s identity. Big sister is a title she wore proudly from the moment her sister was born. She taught Ayana everything she learned. She took pride in her role as a big sister, always there for her sister to protect, cheer, teach, and listen. The two of them were seldom separated, because if you saw one, the other was not far behind.
N’Daja is bright and articulate. She was reading by the time she was three years old. She was a quick learner and was able to take on tasks with ease. While attending high school, N’Daja completed a Peer Mediation Program. She used these skills to resolve conflicts amongst her peers. She attended many developmental programs to include, Girl Scouts, Girls of Character, Delta GEMS., Omega Psi Phi’s Project Enrich, and Galilee’s S.T.A.R.S. Mentoring Program. She also regularly participated in a program sponsored by the Gamma Pi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. at Shepherd’s Cove where she served breakfast to battered women and their children. In 2017, she traveled to Egypt with her parents for a ten-day education tour of the country. These programs have contributed to her development into the beautiful young lady that she is.
At an early age, she accepted Christ and became an active member at Galilee Baptist Church where she served faithfully on the Usher and Nursey Ministries. As a young woman of faith, she has been able to handle challenges she has had to face. A defining moment in her life was the murder of her little sister. She along with her parents founded The Ayana J. McAllister Foundation. Another testament of her resiliency was her ability to return to college without her sister, and make the Dean’s List despite this traumatic loss. N’Daja is an energetic, compassionate, and resourceful young woman. She is a blessing to her friends and family.