Heroes often emerge from individuals who have endured extreme difficulties, emerging stronger with a determination to aid others facing similar challenges. Yvonne Pointer stands as a remarkable example of such a hero. In 1984, her 14-year-old daughter, Gloria Pointer, was sexually assaulted and killed on her way to school in Cleveland, Ohio and her story was featured on ‘Dateline: Promise to Gloria.’ It took 29 years to identify and bring her daughter’s killer, Hernandez Warren, to justice. Since then, Yvonne has transformed her life into a spectacle of resilience and compassion, offering a helping hand to those navigating the same painful journey she experienced. Her story is truly one to behold and admire.
Yvonne Pointer Became an Advocate
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Yvonne was a mother to three children – Gloria, Raymon, and Denyelle – in 1984. Gloria, the eldest and most cherished, often assisted her mother and excelled as a diligent student. On December 6, 1984, tragedy struck as Gloria was attacked between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. while on her way to school. After speaking with witnesses, the police discovered her lifeless body around 10:30 a.m. This devastating event left Yvonne in despair, and for the initial months, she struggled to find a reason to go on. Seeking help for her remaining children, Yvonne asked a family friend to move in, grappling with a profound sense of hopelessness.
With no leads to the perpetrator who had attacked and killed Yvonne’s daughter, a sense of desperation overcame her. Yearning for assistance in her advocacy, she awaited someone to guide her emotionally and legally. Seeing no one stepping forward, Yvonne made the courageous decision to assume that role herself. Venturing into prisons in search of her daughter’s assailant, Yvonne encountered individuals in dire need of help. This marked a pivotal moment in Yvonne’s life mission, as she shifted her focus to extend a compassionate hand to those within the prison system and otherwise, channeling her pain into a commitment to help others in need.
Yvonne Pointer is Living in Cleveland Till Today
Since then, Yvonne Pointer has evolved into an anti-violence activist and motivational speaker, dedicating herself to building safer communities on multiple fronts. She founded Positive Plus, an organization focused on rebuilding lives impacted by violence, funded by the United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland, Inc. Additionally, Yvonne established the outreach program, College Connection, for high school students in their final year. Inspired by the success of The Midnight Basketball Program in Chicago, Yvonne collaborated with local authorities and the Cleveland Mayor to bring the initiative to her city. In 1991, she succeeded, earning the title Mother of Midnight Basketball in Cleveland.
In 2002, Yvonne and Gloria’s story served as inspiration for a young man named Anthony Tay in West Africa. This inspiration led him to establish the Gloria Pointer Teen Movement Initiative, a program dedicated to providing education and resources for a healthy life to young people in West Africa. Under Yvonne’s care, the Gloria Pointer Foundation was founded, advocating for abused, neglected, and abducted children, offering choices for emotional and physical well-being. Yvonne continues her community support through initiatives like the Gloria Pointer Annual Scholarship and Hope Haven, a prayer room for those grieving, showcasing her commitment to healing and empowering others.
On November 7, 1991, Yvonne made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and in the same year, she was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. Acknowledging her impactful efforts, she received the 908th Point of Light national tribute from President George H. Bush, recognizing Americans making positive differences. Over the years, Yvonne has garnered various accolades and praise for her work. She co-founded P.A.C.K (Parents Against Child Killing) and remains an active member of P.O.M.C. (Parents of Murdered Children), showcasing her enduring commitment to advocacy and support for those affected by violence.
Presently residing in Cleveland, Ohio, Yvonne experienced a surprising turn in 2021 when she found love and married Jerry McCreary. Reflecting on her life’s journey, Yvonne expressed that she never anticipated discovering love. Amid the pandemic, Yvonne’s sister introduced her to Jerry to assist him through personal grief, sparking an instant connection. Now a grandmother, Yvonne envisions her late daughter Gloria witnessing her present happiness and finding solace in the fulfilling life she has embraced.
Read More: Hernandez Warren: Where is the Killer Now?