BURLINGTON, N.J. — Nikki Reed knew she had to move. Though she had lived her entire life in Mobile, Ala., Reed watched her oldest son, Jacoby, go from being a promising high school basketball player to being sent away to state prison at age 17 for robbery.
Reed didn't want her younger son, Trayvon, to get caught up in the culture of their Down the Bay neighborhood.
That decision to move, first to Montgomery, Ala., for three years before settling a little more than two years ago outside Atlanta in Snellville, Ga., helped put Trayvon Reed on a path that will land him at the University of Maryland this summer.
"I had to [leave], the area was...