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FCAHS homecoming queen gives crown to student who lost mom to cancer

Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 10:59 AM CDT
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FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Forrest County Agricultural High School’s Homecoming 2021 will be a day many will never forget. After being named homecoming queen, senior Nyla Covington immediately decided to give her crown to another student, Brittany Walters.

“All I could think about was my mom and how she wanted to be here, and then the next thing I know, Nyla walked towards me, and she hugged me,” Brittany said. “I just didn’t really think anything of it, and then she started to take off her crown.”

“I told her it belonged to her, and then she was, like, backing away,” Nyla said. “I was like, ‘No, come here, get it, you’re your mom’s queen.’ I wanted her to know that. and then I hugged her.”

Nyla’s kind and selfless act came after Brittany lost her mother, A.J. Walters, to cancer that Friday morning.

“My mom would have done the same thing if she was in Nyla’s shoes, and I just felt my mom’s presence there,” Brittany said. “I can see my mom through Nyla. They have the same exact caring, giving spirit and it’s really fulfilling.”

It was an emotional and difficult day for Brittany and her family, but her mother never wanted her to miss the special day.

“She realized that she may not be able to make it out here,” Sean Walters, Brittany’s father and A.J.’s husband, said. “She made me promise her that I was going to come out here with Brittany because she didn’t want to ruin her day, her homecoming day. She said that’s something she’ll remember for the rest of her life.”

Thanks to Nyla, homecoming night will always be remembered and so will A.J., who was an administrative assistant at the high school and was very involved in her daughter’s schools.

“Her spirit is what made her special,” Will Wheat, principal at FCAHS, said. “Even on the hardest days, even battling cancer, she always had a smile on her face.”

“She’s like the person that I want everybody to be like, honestly, cause she just smiled,” Nyla said.

“She was a giving person,” Walters said. “She tried to help every person she’d come in contact with.”

“I feel like this is her way of still touching people, cause that’s what she lived her whole life around was trying to help and touch people and this is her way of still doing it,” Brittany said.

Walters and Wheat hope that A.J.’s kindness and Nyla’s beautiful gesture will encourage others to also have a giving heart.

“We hope that Nyla’s selfless act will be a light for the rest of society,” Wheat said. “So, we’re very proud of her and her giving nature.”

“Obviously, she has great parents that raised her well, and that’s hard to find sometimes nowadays, and that speaks a lot to them, too,” Walters said.

Nyla and Brittany say they have received so much support and love from people who have come across their story.

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