Last time I saw Alejandro Rojas-García
Last time I saw Alejandro Rojas-García was two weeks ago at the Community College of Philadelphia, when the institution presented an award to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jan. 16.
Alex graduated from CCP with honors last December and was part of a select group of students invited to the event.
As a writer for a news organization that showcases the fullness of the Latino experience, I am always looking for new ways to connect with my audience.
That day I was supposed to interview Alex to get his reaction on Alito’s speech. Perhaps he would have also taken the opportunity to tell me about his volunteer work with a group of attorneys that provides legal workshops in the community, and at the expungement clinics hosted by Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society.
However, Alito’s ceremony ran much longer than anticipated and as soon as his speech was over, I left and I never got to talk to Alex. I only saw him from a distance when he was pointed out by Vincent Thompson, Media Specialist at CCP. He told me Alex wanted to be interviewed by AL DÍA. Who would’ve thought that a few days later I would be writing about Alex after all?
On Jan. 24 he was driving his new SUV in the Feltonville neighborhood in North Philadelphia, when someone riddled the vehicle with bullets. The 34-year-old was taken to Temple University Hospital and pronounced dead. A passenger, his fellow classmate, was also injured and is now in critical condition.
No arrest has yet been made in connection with the crime. His father, Wilfredo Rojas, vice president of the NAACP in Gloucester County, who has worked for years to help ex-convicts reintegrate into society, is now asking for the public’s help to find any information about his son's killer. Alex is survived by his mother, 16-year-old daughter, 14-year-old son, and five siblings. His family issued the following statement:
"Alex worked from the age of 16 years old. Alex worked for Wachovia Bank and Alliance One Inc., both, in the department of Accounts Receivables, and was named as one of the top collectors in the industry and was featured in a trade journal that highlighted his success in this business field.
Currently a Temple student in Media and Communications, Alex graduated with honors from the Community College of Philadelphia, and thereafter transferred to Temple University's School of Media and Communication where he was majoring in Advertising. Recently, he was also working with a group of attorneys to provide legal workshops in the community.
Alex interests ranged from pool and domino tournaments to weight lifting and martial arts. He studied computer repair. He loved to fish and he introduced many of his friends to the pastime. Alex also enjoyed creating music beats and writing lyrics, and rapped with a group called 'Latin Linxx' in his late teen and early adult years. He excelled in his poetry and lyric writing abilities. He even won the Pennsylvania Creative Written Expression Contest with his poem, 'There is Always an I in Choice'. His poetry dealt with real issues of our time and inner struggles that we all feel at some point in our lives.
Alex was a beloved son, brother, father and friend. He made friends wherever he went and was always ready to help anyone. Alex brought happiness to the lives of his family, and his intelligence and humor filled their days with joy. He had a promising life ahead of him, but he was a victim of a vicious and senseless crime".
- His viewing is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 2, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Baldi Funeral Home, 1331 South Broad Street.
- The funeral service will take place Tuesday, Feb. 3, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church at 21st and Walnut St., followed by his interment will at SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery at 1600 S. Sproul Rd, Springfield, PA.
- Alex’s family have set up a crowdfunding campaign to help cover the cost of his services.