Stockton High School Seniors Keep Gun Violence Victims’ Voices Alive

STOCKTON -- Seventeen students and educators were gunned down and 17 more were injured one year ago in Parkland, Florida.

"The last thing he was going to do was to call his older brother," said Stockton student Aiden Damforth.

They were all just kids, gunned down within the last year.

"He was a poet," said student Brianna Rodriguez. "He wanted to be a musician and he was a point guard."

They were killed before they could realize their dreams.

"The story kind of affected me personally. Like thinking if my brother, my younger sister were to die due to gun violence," Damforth said.

Since October, five Stagg High School seniors, Damforth, Rodriguez, Cevina Calderon, Angel Vasquez and Donavin Collins, have helped keep 1,200 victims' voices heard.

"To give it a voice and to kind of stand up to gun violence as a whole," Calderon said.

Taking part in a nationwide effort headed by the nonprofit TRACE Project, the seniors were asked to write obituaries for other teens who were killed due to gun violence.

"Kind of really lets people know that this is a serious issue, it’s a big problem and that it’s affecting, like, real-life people," Rodriguez told FOX40.

Their teacher, Don Bott, said he was impressed by his students' ability to go beyond the statistics.

"After I got them going they didn’t need me much and I was very impressed by what quality they produced," he said.

The students hope their words show the personalities, loves and insights into the victims' lives before they were gunned down.

"That could be us, you know?" Rodriguez said. "So I think it makes it more powerful."

If you’d like to read the obituaries you can visit the Since Parkland website.

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