Anthony "Tony" Gobar of Jackson, a long-time juvenile justice specialist, died of an apparent heart attack at age 53 in the summer of 2004. He was a man who had dedicated himself to making his community a better place, especially when it came to troubled youth who found themselves in the state's criminal justice system.
A Breaux Bridge, Louisiana., native and Southern University graduate, Gobar began working in job training at a community action agency in Louisiana before moving to Jackson and joining the Department of Criminal Justice Planning as a Program Manager. He worked later as a juvenile justice specialist after his division became part of the Department of Public Safety.
Herbert Terry, director of the Justice Programs Division at the Department of Public Safety, said Gobar was "one of the most professional, caring, sincere, unselfish and honest persons that I have ever worked with or known. He worked untiringly to improve the juvenile justice system in Mississippi."
The National Coalition for Juvenile Justice in Washington, D.C., established an award in his name for individuals working in the juvenile justice field, and he was posthumously honored by the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice.
"Tony found his greatest joy in the simple things in life," his wife, Angela, said in a news release. "He served God as a parishioner of Holy Family Catholic Church in Jackson ... Tony was known for and will be remembered for his selfless spirit and willingness to always help another person."
The Anthony "Tony" Gobar Juvenile Justice Scholarship Fund will provide an annual scholarship based on both merit and need for a full-time junior or senior at a public university in Mississippi or at Southern University in Louisiana majoring in criminal justice, political science, or counseling.
The student must have a stated career interest in juvenile justice or a similar field and have demonstrated a strong commitment to community and public service.
Students must be U.S. citizens and have at least a current grade point average of 2.5 on 4.0 scales. Demonstrated financial need must be provided via the studentís university or college financial aid office.
Amount and use of Scholarship award: The scholarship is a one-time award up to $2,500 (non-renewable each year). The award may be used for tuition, books and room and board.