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"Hadiya's Promise" Seeks To Be A Voice For Change

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Nearly a year and a half after her tragic murder, Hadiya Pendleton's parents have launched a national non-profit in her name, with the goal of saving other children.

WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports the logo for "Hadiya's Promise" was taken from a photo Hadiya took of her feet in the snow.

"I look at that photo, we look at that photo, and we think about how much time we thought we had; how many more steps we thought she would take," said her mother, Cleo. "We are encouraged to lengthen the time that everyone else's child had."


Hadiya was only 16 years old when she was shot and killed while standing with a group of friends at a Kenwood neighborhood park, while taking shelter from the rain in January 2013.

Two young men have been charged with her murder. Police and prosecutors have said 18-year-old Michael Ward fired several shots at Hadiya and her friends, mistaking them for a group of rival gang members. Kenneth Williams, 20, allegedly provided the gun and drove the getaway car.

Prosecutors have said Ward and Williams were out for revenge, after a rival gang killed a friend of Ward's. Williams also had been wounded by a rival gang member the previous summer.

Hadiya's family said the non-profit established in her memory is meant to be a voice for change.

"At the end of the day, young people are carrying guns, because they either don't value life or because they don't believe that their lives are valued," said executive director Angela Rudolph. "Part of what we want to do is to change the dime on that."

Five months ago, the city agreed to lease two unused offices inside the Martin Luther King Community Center at 43rd and Cottage Grove to the Hadiya Pendleton Foundation through 2016. The foundation was created to provide mentoring, tutoring, computer programs, and recreational activities to Chicago youths after school.

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