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African American Student Services Remembers Paris Clayton

September 30, 2016 - Dorene DiNaro

Tomie Clayton and Paris ClaytonParis Clayton’s family, friends, and coworkers remember her as a kind, caring person who always wanted to help people. They have been having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that this sweet person is gone, after she died unexpectedly earlier this month. 

(photo: Paris Clayton with her grandmother Tommie Clayton.  Courtesy Clayton Family)

“We do and are going to miss Paris greatly,” says Scott Carreathers, director of the UNM African American Student Services program, where Clayton was employed in a work-study position on campus.  “Her future looked so bright, but we know she is in a much better place and at peace.”

Clayton excelled academically and always worked hard to achieve her goals.  As valedictorian at Cesar Chavez Community School, she graduated a year earlier than most of her peers.  As a result of her hard work, she earned the highly competitive UNM Presidential Scholarship, given to students based on excellent academic performance and leadership potential among other qualities. 

This fall, at age 17, she was excited to begin her college career at The University of New Mexico as a freshman double majoring in Africana Studies and Political Science.Carreathers says she was a wonderful, sweet spirit that meant the world to AASS, its staff and students.  “She was looking to truly make a difference in the lives of black students at the University,” he says.  “We loved her!”

Outside of school she liked to attend church, write poetry, and draw.  The Student Affairs family would like to send our sincerest condolences to the Clayton family.  She will be missed.