Dorothy LewisBrockington survived the unthinkable. She was raped and shot executionstyle, then left to die with her two daughters.
It was around 8:30 on the night of January 30, 1993. Dorothy had taken the two girls to the a Winn Dixie just minutes fromtheir Eustis home, to pick up ingredients for a meal she was preparing for achurch event.
As the threewalked back to their car in the store parking lot, 18-year-old Richard Henyardand 14-year-old Alfonso Smalls carjacked them and drove them to another location, down a dirt road. There, the men raped Dorothy and then shot her in the head. A shortdistance away, the men shot and killed her two young daughters. Miraculously, Dorothy survived.
She was not broken or defeated, even after surviving one of the most heinouscrimes in Central Florida's history. She wasattending Lake Sumter State College when this awful crime befell her. She eventually picked up the pieces of her life and resumed her studies, earning a teaching degree.
Now, at 55, she is giving back to her community. Dorothy decided to create a scholarship for aspiring students at Lake Sumter State, to benefit those interested in the performing arts. It would be a gesture to honor both of her daughters.
Dorothy announced the scholarship during a news conference at the college earlier this month. She stood at the podium, holding a newly published bookabout her story, entitled "Unbroken" and was joined by the book's author, former Orlando Sentinelreporter Frank Stanfield.
"Last year, Frank and I got together and wrote a book about the Dorothy Lewis story," she explained, her voice charged with emotion.
She announced that a portion of all proceeds from book sales will help fund the scholarship. "We're here today to honor my daughters, Jamilya andJasmine, with a scholarship in their behalf."
The girls werebeautiful. Seven-year-oldJamilya loved to dance, sing, perform, and 3-year-old Jasmine lovedto imitate big sis.
"It's been twenty years, and we just wanted to do something in honor ofthem. It's always been a desire of mine to have something in memory ofthe girls," she said. "Jamilya was so outgoing. I thought maybe the performing arts wouldbe a fantastic scholarship in her honor, and Jasmine as well."
In a one-on-one interview a few years ago, Dorothy told us, "I didn't really think Icould make it without my girls, but the God inside me gives me the strength todo what I'm doing."
Today, Dorothy is an evangelical preacher at New Directions Church in Ocala, along with herhusband, and boy does she preach. She also had another child five years after that night. Joshua is15.
Her story is selling nationwide. ForDorothy, it's all about giving back some of the "amazing grace" she's been given.
I would like to someday full time evangelize, be in the ministry,travel to different places and speak of the goodness of God," she said. "And ifpeople don't believe in miracles, I'd say look at me!"
Henyard was executed in October of 2008 and Smalls is serving a life sentence.
Dorothy said she has been interviewed over the years about whether juvenilesshould be sentenced to life terms, and she says, in Smalls case,"Yes."