This is the 2nd Scholarship of the Gems for Gems Scholarship Program and will be awarded to a survivor of domestic abuse who has demonstrated knowledge of the importance of remaining outside of abusive relationships, compassion to those who have lost their lives as a result of abuse and understanding of the gift living truly is.
This woman will have been through the Gems for Gems Scholarship Selection Process, ranked in the highest percentile of all applicants and will be made aware of Shannon’s story in order to honour the memory of the loss and the life behind this once in a lifetime gift of education.
About Celeste Yawney
Celeste Yawney was brutally taken from her two boys, loving family and a community that adored her in 2015 due to domestic abuse reaching its pinnacle when Duran Redwood ended her life.
“I’d love to tell you about Celeste….
She was a big bright shining light. She loved everyone, even those who were harder to love… You know, we joked that if we had one chair with a sign saying FOR CELESTE’S BEST FRIEND so many people would have assumed it was for them! She was well known and well loved.
Celeste had a strong personality. She was likely the strongest person that anyone who knew her had ever met. He just beat and manipulated it out of her…
We need people to understand this because we watched and were confused. We begged her to leave and we didn’t understand how complicated it was inside of her because of the abuse.
She started dating him (Redwood) just before our Dad died which was a time when Celeste struggled so much. He got in because of how vulnerable she was. She was the type of person no one could ever have imagined would be in a relationship like that, but domestic abuse can get anyone. We have learned that we want other people to understand that too.
In the end, she had regained her strength and was ready to leave. But this is how it goes so often. The victim leaves, the abuser loses control and that’s when… this happens.
Celeste was a phenomenal mother, sister, daughter, and friend. She was human, but an incredible one. She would have absolutely loved that her memory is connected to helping another woman succeed and live a life free of abuse. I think this is amazing and my family and I are just so grateful.”-Janine Yawney Pereira (Celeste’s sister)
Gems for Gems is honored and humbled to contribute to this incredible woman’s legacy. She stood for strength, love and believed that everyone should know someone has their back.
We could not be more pleased to align ourselves to Celeste, her boys, her family and the community around her.
“My family and I just want you to know how incredibly grateful we are that Gems for Gems exists.
You are providing an actual way, a practical way, forward for women to keep themselves and their children out of abuse.
We are so grateful that you are doing this and helping keep others from ending up like Celeste and our family.
Thank you so much. We are so grateful. We all (our family) want you to know that.”
-Janine Yawney Pereira (Celeste’s sister)
For more information on Celeste Yawney’s case please click the link below: