Students at a Massachusetts high school gathered together on Saturday to try to bring an end to violence in the city's Dorchester neighborhood.
The students at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School held a March Against Violence in honor of their classmate, 17-year-old Raekwon Brown, who was gunned down outside the school in June.
Senior Chloe Connolly was a close friend to Brown and says she has lost others to violence.
“You can ask anybody in this room — he was a really good person. It impacts all of us in different ways,” Connolly said. “The young kids were impacted by it a lot more because we’re still growing up in this community so it’s our turn to speak up.”
Build On is a community service organization which hopes to help the students at the high school continue to cope with Brown's death.
“To provide that space for the community to come together to be able to celebrate his life and do something that was really special and meaningful for them,” said program manager, Marina Misculin.
As part of that process, students not only walked through the streets of Dorchester, but they wrote letters and posted messages on signs to the Brown family in hopes of helping them heal. The family will be preparing to spend their first holidays without their child.
“I’ve been impacted by a lot like my family members have and we want it to stop — we grew up around violence — we don’t want it no more,” Connolly said.
Organizers said they hope their message will live on in peace stones they placed along the 3-mile route. Placed on the stones, are messages of hope to help the entire community heal.