Parkland, Fla., Survivor Speaks to Students in Charlottesville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A survivor from the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, is speaking out to students in Charlottesville.
Jaclyn Corin is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which was the location of a mass shooting in 2018 that claimed the lives of 17 of her classmates and teachers.
On Tuesday, April 9, she spoke to students from schools across central Virginia at the Paramount Theater during the Youth Innovation Conference as part of the annual Tom Tom Festival.
She urged the group of students to take on an active role in the community and embrace their power as youth leaders.
“I am a senior at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida,” Corin said. “One of the worst mass shootings in American history happened at my high school.”
Corin is one of the founders of March for Our Lives, one of the largest youth-led initiatives in the country.
“Immediately after the shooting, I decided that I could not sit back and I needed to do something and use my voice,” Corin said.
During Tuesday’s conference, Corin addressed a crowd of middle and high school students and urged them to use their voices for change.
“I always think it's so important to, you know, share my story in order to inspire others because I know I'm inspired by other young people that are doing amazing work,” Corin said.
During the conference, students presented some of their own work on causes they find important.
“It's called Journeying Through Gender, and so it's basically addressing the issues facing transgender and youth adults,” Ellie Ransom, a student at Albemarle High School, said.
Corin also motivated students to take action, even if others are trying to hold them back.
“She's just really thinking that there's an issue and she's going to solve it, just like the youth here are doing - that they have issues that are important to them, they're passionate about so they're actually doing something about that cause,” Ransom said.
According to Corin, students in Charlottesville and Parkland share a connection.
“We both have experienced unspeakable violence, but we also have been thrown onto this international stage where our tragedy is talked about in so many different places and nooks and crannies of the world,” Corin said.
Corin will attend Harvard in the fall.
She and Charlottesville High School student and activist Zyahna Bryant spoke at this conference as part of this year's Tom Tom Festival.
For a list of festival events, click here.