Mikias Tibebu was nicknamed Mik and his friends say he trustworthy and kind, and was the one person who was always there when you needed him.
He was the oldest of four siblings with a future that was as bright as his smile. Thursday night, there was reflection and remembrance.
Inside the Schaumburg High School gymnasium fellow classmates pay tribute in song to their friend. He was described as a brilliant student whose dedication to excellence was infectious. Nebeyu Tibebu said his older brother was his inspiration.
"We shared a bond that will never be broken," he said.
Tibebu was an honor student, and a track and cross country athlete. He was remembered as members of track team struggled to express their sorrow and gratitude. They called him a role model on the course and in the classroom.
"The way he carried himself with such class made you feel loved no matter who you were," said AJ Vetter. "And he always did it with a smile."
Tibebu immigrated to America from Ethiopia when he was a little boy. Those in his community say he was living the American dream. His father offered his son a ride home an hour before he was killed. Thursday night, he read his essay that his son sent in for college. He donated the essay with his picture attached to the school.
A video was shown to celebrate the life of a promising young student who left a lasting impact in a short time.
Investigators say Tibebu was on the ground when he was hit over the weekend. How he got there and who hit him are pressing questions crucial to solving this crime.
"It would be much more beneficial for the driver to come forward at this point than to wait for us to knock on their door," said Schaumburg Police's John Nebl.
On Thursday, Tibebu would have been sitting for his final interview for a full academic scholarship at California's Pomona College.
Investigators say Tibebu was on the ground when he was hit. His family is offering a $10,000 reward for information in the case.