Cornell McKay receiving the Stan Musial Youth Character Award

Photo by Debbie Monterrey

Formerly Homeless Teen Receives Youth Character Award from Stan Musial Hall of Fame

May 02, 2018 - 7:53 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - He spent three years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, but Cornell McKay was all cheers and smiles as he addressed the crowd at the 10th annual Stan Musial Hall of Fame gala for Covenant House.

McKay told the crowd he'd spent several months living at Covenant House in 2012.

“The reason a lot of us end up homeless is family issues. It’s not because we’re poor, it’s not because we want to sell drugs, it’s not because we want to be on the corner, it just happens sometimes,” he says.

McKay was arrested, charged and convicted of robbing a woman in the central west end, despite his strong alibi. He was working on his GED at the time at Covenant House. His friends there and at his new church never stopped fighting for him and he was eventually freed. It’s believed Keith Eskers, the man convicted of murdering SLU volleyball player Megan Boken a week later, really committed that robbery.

McKay did get his GED and now works at Better Family Life helping other homeless youth. Four members of Stan Musial’s family gathered on stage to bestow the Youth Character award to McKay.

“I thank god for this award, and I thank you all for showing me this love and this appreciation,” he says.