HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4)– A mother and sister are remembering about an amazing person who was taken too soon. Mya Pena was murdered last week by her boyfriend, who later took his own life.
Her mother Audra and her sister Alexis say the 17-year-old was a kind person with a bright future.
“She was an amazing light. Her funeral, her life, everything was a testament to her,” said Audra Pena.
Mya’s life was cut short when her boyfriend, Samuel Hoffman, picked Mya up from school at Mile High Academy in Highlands Ranch, killed her, and then took his own life several hours later in El Paso County.
Mya’s family wants to make sure people not only remember the young woman she was, but honor her by helping others. Her mother plans to start an organization called Mya’s World. It will be a foundation that will provide counseling and resources to young women. Teach them to identify and deal with troubled relationships, and also teach them self-defense.
“We want to spread this. We want to be able to have a platform to talk to other parents, talk to other siblings, of victims. Talk to children in schools, have schools do self-defense classes. I think that’s important for girls,” said Pena.
In the meantime, Audra and Alexis say their family and their faith are helping them get through this tough time.
“God, my faith, and all the prayers. It’s the only way I can make it.”
Among the resources available in Colorado is the Ashley Doolittle Foundation, started by a mother who lost her daughter to teen domestic violence. The foundation raises awareness on the issue while also helping to educate the community about the signs of abusive relationships.