SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– A spirited, bright young woman, 35-year-old Aisha Haskins-Stephens was a pillar in the Syracuse community as a leader and advocate for children.
Haskins-Stephens died in a Rochester hospital days after being trampled during a rap concert at Main Street Armory on March 5. The crowd surged after false reports of gunshots inside the venue. A 33-year-old woman from Buffalo and a 35-year-old woman from Rochester also lost their lives due to the tragedy.
Haskins-Stephens grew up in Syracuse and worked with the Good Life Foundation. She was a life and family coach with the foundation’s school-based program at STEM at Blodgett Middle School.
“Aisha had the biggest personality that’s the thing about her when she walked in the room she was going to explode. She always had her cheer voice on you could hear her voice yelling but it was always smiles, hugs, greetings and that immediately picked the kids like the kids just immediately flocked to her,”Azariah Yemma, Haskins-Stephens‘ Good Life Foundation supervisor
Haskins-Stephens touched the lives of countless kids in Syracuse, including 11-year-old Brexialee Torres-Ortiz, who was gunned down in Syracuse on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Yemma explains that Brexi would attend the lunch club Stephens-Haskins hosted through Good Life during the school day at Blodgett.
An unwavering support system for kids no matter the circumstances but her impact went far beyond her day job. Aisha was also a Pop Warner cheer coach, leading her team to a national championship last year.
“I want the people to understand that she really loved this community like she loved everything about it. She loved what she did, she loved working with the kids, it was never a job,” Yemma said.
Aisha’s co-workers are not alone in mourning her loss, her mother Eloise J. Leflore tells NewsChannel Nine she is devastated and overcome with grief.