Parkland survivor speaks at Center City charter school graduation

'This is why I survived, to fight for the 17 that we lost.'

Kim Glovas
June 18, 2018 - 9:03 am
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivor Aalayah Eastmond is shown with her mother.

Kim Glovas/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — One of the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting is addressing gun violence at Freire Charter School in Center City Philadelphia.

Aalayah Eastmond is a rising senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — and a survivor of that mass shooting on Feb. 14 that killed 17 people. She is the keynote speaker at the school's graduation ceremony.

"I had to hide underneath one of my murdered classmates' bodies to survive," she said Monday morning.

Since that tragic day, she's been speaking out to students across the country. "Because if I don't, I'll feel like I had no purpose surviving. I feel like this is why I survived, to fight for the 17 that we lost," Eastmond said.

Freire's founder and CEO Kelly Davenport said, "We invited Aalayah here to share this amazing moment with us, but also to have this amazing moment sort of catalyze this memory of Aalayah so that our graduates will always remember to speak and act on what they believe in."