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Mile High Academy and Local Community Join Together to Honor Student

MIle High Academy front entrance

UPDATED Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, 10:05 p.m. ET

Mile High Academy (MHA), local Denver, Colorado, churches, and the community have joined together as they honor the life of one of their students who passed away. Mya Pena was killed after she left school on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. A candlelight vigil was held Thursday at the academy.

“We ask our community to lift up the parents of the student, the Mile High Academy students and staff, our pastors and the counselors in prayer as we continue to grieve together,” said Lonnie Hetterle, Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) education superintendent.

On January 15, Mile High Academy’s administration issued a statement. “It is with profound sadness that Mile High Academy confirms the loss of one of our students. Our hearts go out to this family. We want the family to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers,” read the statement in part.

MHA is working closely with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department as they continue to investigate the tragedy. In the released statement Mile High Academy shared that it will have grief counselors and pastors on hand to help students, staff, and families with this loss.

“Prayers for our students and staff are appreciated. Thank you for respecting the privacy of our school community at this time,” the statement continued.

Ed Barnett, RMC president, visited the Seventh-day Adventist school on Wednesday and Thursday. “Our hearts hurt for the parents and family of our student who is no longer with us,” Barnett said. “The way the Mile High Academy students, staff, and local churches have come together speaks volumes to just how closely connected this community is, especially in times of sadness. We also want to say thank you to the counselors and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance during this time. Please continue to pray for all involved.”

Services for Pena were held Monday, January 20, at 1:30 p.m. at LifeSource Adventist Fellowship in Denver.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral and family expenses at questions regarding additional ways to support Mile High Academy, please contact Jamie Frain, Mile High Academy’s interim principal, at; or 303-744-1069.

— The original story was posted on Jan. 16, 2020.