PHOENIX - Slain journalist James Foley leaves quite the legacy here in the Valley.
U.S. officials announced Foley was beheaded in Syria after a shocking video was sent out earlier this week.
Foley was a teacher in Phoenix for a few years in the 1990s.
Even when he left that job behind, his friends tell ABC15 he still checked in with his students when he came back to visit.
“He always put his mentors and his students first. He was someone that was always just so giving of his time and so supportive and wanted to see the best in people and let their best shine,” said his friend and former co-worker Jason Williams.
Williams used to work with Foley at Teach for America in Phoenix.
He said Foley spent hours catching up with students and making sure their education was on track.
Williams said Foley was his mentor and he owes his career to him.
He said Foley was a selfless person who was always thinking of others.
As a journalist, he said Foley wanted to give people a voice and tell their stories..
“It's been an incredibly difficult 24 hours and truthfully this has been the first time I have had the strength to even talk about it. It's very difficult to process. I'm going to miss him terribly,” Williams said.
Williams wants James Foley to be remembered for the way he lived his life-- not the way his life was taken from him.