WARREN - The remaining $10,860 of the more than $61,000 collected through Huntington Bank to pay for funeral expenses for six teenagers killed in a single-vehicle accident in early March has been turned over to the Greater Warren-Youngstown Urban League.
The money will be used to help launch an education initiative designed to help Warren-area students meet and exceed their educational requirements at both secondary school and college levels. It will utilize a computer program, Universal Prep, which was created by a former area resident Kevin Harris.
Warren City Council President Bob Dean, who established the fund for the funerals, said he turned over the remaining money to a nonprofit organization at the recommendation of the Ohio Attorney General's Charitable Law Division.
Tribune Chronicle / Raymond L. Smith
Thomas Conley, president and CEO of the Greater Warren-Youngstown Urban League, is shown on Monday.
Dean contacted Conley on Thursday about donating the money; the deal was finalized on Friday.
Some of the victims' family members have been critical of Dean, questioning how the money has been disbursed, especially considering that some organizations donated their services for the funeral expenses.
As of Monday, $15,030.39 was left in the account. However, $4,170 is owed to Loving Memories Monument Services for headstones.
"Our goal, as an Urban League, is to be the educational hub center for the youth of Warren, and, as we expand, a hub center of the youth of Mahoning Valley, giving our youth an opportunity to put their education futures in their hands," said Thomas Conley, CEO and president of the Warren-Youngstown Urban League.
Through the program, students will be able to work with the software on home computers, smart phones and other electronic devices.
"We already purchased 30 programs with money within our system," Conley said. "This money is allowing us to speed up the implementation of this initiative."
Conley said he has not spoken to the surviving family members of the six teens killed in the auto accident.