‘We’re here for the long haul:’ Lakewood teens who marched in DC dedicated to cause

LAKEWOOD, OH – Four Lakewood teens who marched with hundreds of thousands of people in Washington, D.C. in the March for Our Lives Saturday say they returned from their trip more motivated than ever to stand up for stricter gun control laws.

“The march was not the climax of all of this. It’s the beginning of it and people are so dedicated to this topic that I really do think change is going to happen,” said 18-year-old Sarah Pepe who helped organize a bus trip for about 50 Lakewood area high school students to the march.

“Right now, the adults aren’t really doing anything to help and I think it’s my time to step up and try and help as much as I can,” said Nick Scott, a 16-year-old high school sophomore.

The march was planned by the student survivors of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February. A teen gunman shot and killed 17 people in a six-minute rampage.

“There’s a lot of us and we’re all pretty sick and tired because of all of the violence that’s going on because of guns and it feels completely different this time,” said Angie Amato, a 17-year-old junior who says she believes in the movement.

The students say their mission is to work for tighter gun control measures and encourage fellow teens and young adults to be registered to vote and to vote.

“The next thing we’re going to tackle is voter registration because I feel like a lot of young adults feel like it’s a lot bigger of a hassle to register to vote than it actually is,” said Emilia Oravetz, a 17-year-old high school senior.

The teens have started what they call a non-school affiliated ‘Student Committee of Activism’ which will work to get more support for gun control and take on the task of educating young people on the importance of voting.

“I think that this rally and the momentum that’s building around it is showing a lot of people that, oh wait, I can do something and I should be a part of something,” Pepe said.

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