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It is with great sadness that NAMI and YouthMOVE Ohio announces the passing of YouthMOVE State Youth Council Alumni and NAMI advocate Jerrone McAdoo on June 4, 2020.

Jerrone lost his battle with sickle cell anemia at just 27-years-old.

Jerrone was born in Pontiac, Michigan, and was placed in the foster care system in Akron at 4-years-old.  His journey was not easy as he bounced from relative to relative and foster home to foster home throughout his childhood and often experienced homelessness and abuse.

Despite an insurmountable amount of adversity and challenges, Jerrone never lost his faith or compassion for others.  He joined the COHHIO Youth Empowerment Program at age 14 and developed a strong passion and voice for advocating for others.

Jerrone was a founding member of the NAMI Ohio YouthMOVE chapter and became a strong advocate for mental health as well as homelessness and improving the foster care systems.  While he struggled with his own challenges related to depression and PTSD, he never let anything keep him from participating in advocacy.  He was a featured speaker at the YouthMOVE Resiliency Ring and many state and regional conferences.

Jerrone was a fierce supporter of the work of NAMI Ohio and was particularly interested in helping break stereotypes and stigma regarding mental health in the African-American community.  He often shared his personal story to help inspire resiliency and was a peer supporter and mentor to many new advocates.

At the age of 17, Jerrone was placed with in the home of Doris Pickett who welcomed him into her home and eventually legally adopted him giving him the love and stability of a Mother that he always wanted.

Jerrone was the father to a 5-year-old son and recently married his best friend and co-advocate, Chantelle Smith, who is also a former foster child.

The entire NAMI Ohio and YouthMOVE Ohio community is thankful for Jerrone’s years of service and commitment to his advocacy. Our thoughts are with his family and all that have been reached by his mission. He will be greatly missed.

“Despite all his challenges and a multitude of barriers, Jerrone never complained. He was always grateful and put God first.  He was a dad, husband, advocate, and inspiration to all who knew him. While all current and former YEP and YouthMOVE members and alumni are morning the passing of Jerrone, we cannot forget that he taught us all to be strong, grateful and most of all RESILIENT. As we grieve for now, we will persevere and carry on his legacy knowing that we and the world are better because of him! Our hears are broken but we know he is finally at peace and without pain.  We are comforted knowing he has taken his well-earned spot among the Angels watching over us.”  Angela Lariviere, Director, YouthMOVE Ohio YouthMOVE has created a GoFundMe to help support Jerrone’s wife and son with the funeral costs.  Any additional funds raised will go to create a Youth Leadership Award in his name. Please consider donating if you are able to do so. Thank you. –