NewsPinellas County


Jacquez Welch's mom walks the stage in her son's memory at high school graduation ceremony

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 23:26:59-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A powerful moment was captured at Northeast High School's graduation ceremony on Thursday.

Marcia Nelson, the mother of Jacquez Welch, walked the stage in her son's memory.

The Northeast football player died unexpectedly in 2019 after he collapsed during a game.

Jacquez's mother said it was an emotional day. Her goal was always to get him across that stage.

"I feel like he walked with me," she said. "I truly feel like he's always been with me. He's never left so that's why I feel like I'm able to move on and keeping."


While Jacquez was in the hospital, doctors discovered he was born with a rare condition called AVM, which sometimes lead to brain damage.

Jacquez's mother plans to launch a foundation in her son's name as a way to spread awareness of AVM and provide scholarships for high school students.