Honoring Her Legacy
The Ayana J. McAllister Story
Ayana Jazmyn McAllister (affectionately called “Lollipop by her family and Yonna by her friends”) blessed us with her entrance into this world on June 10, 1998, and broke our hearts when she left us to be with the Lord on March 21, 2017. The second of two daughters born to Anthony and Tyreese (Woulard) McAllister, she was raised in a loving home with her first best friend and sister, N’Daja, who nicknamed her “Lollie,” and her brother Andre who protected and harassed her at the same time. Lollie began her walk with Christ at Galilee Baptist Church where she gave her life to Christ, in July of 2005.
In May of 2016, Ayana graduated from Largo, High School in Upper Marlboro, MD. While at Largo, Ayana was a social butterfly, ballplayer and fashion trendsetter. She enjoyed the company of many friends as her easy-going spirit gained her popularity. In addition to playing basketball, Ayana was actively involved in JROTC, church and community activism. In her youth, Ayana was involved in many organizations including Girl Scouts, Girls of Character, Delta GEMS., Omega Psi Phi’s Project Enrich, and Galilee’s S.T.A.R.S. Mentoring Program and African Genesis. 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.
"You have to stay solid when other's fold on you."
— Ayana Jazmyn McAllister
While she participated in many programs, her love for the Maryland State Police Explorer’s Program was unmatched. Through that program, she made the decision to become a police detective. She proudly announced that she would attend her father’s alma mater, Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, NC. At St. Aug, she majored in Criminal Justice to pursue her dream. While attending college she was a member of the Black Iconic Modeling Troupe Fashion Club. She continued her active participation with the Explorer Program while in college, traveling to Maryland monthly to participate in their training and programs.
She deeply enjoyed spending time with her extended family (both blood and God-given), taking pictures and attending events with her closest friends. She was blessed with the right mix of discipline, service, faith, and love. A daddy’s girl and jewel in her mother’s crown, Ayana was indeed a bright and shining star.
Her life was cut short, while home on spring break from college, she was murdered by an unknown gunman. This unfortunate event has left her family with a huge hole in their hearts. To make sense of the senseless violence that took Ayana’s life and plagues so many of our neighborhoods, her family has created a foundation in her name to tackle gun violence that impact communities of color.
Why We Are – The Tragedy & Challenge
In March of 2017, Ayana J. McAllister was killed by gun violence while she and her sister, N’Daja were home on spring break from college. The McAllisters, having lived a life of public service and ministry, quickly went into action, triumphing over the tragedy. Together with good friends, they founded The Ayana J. McAllister Foundation, a non-profit organization to confront and address gun violence in people of color communities. It is our intention to significantly reduce incidents of homicide, suicide and acts of violence resulting from irresponsible use of firearms by high risk individuals.