ASHVILLE, Oh. (KDKA) - A high school student decorated her graduation cap with the hope to raise awareness for gun safety.
Gina Warren is preparing to graduate high school and step into the next chapter of her life, but she is not forgetting those that never had the opportunity to receive their diploma.
The Teays Valley High School student was faced with a decision: how to decorate her graduation cap.
"All my friends had their ideas and I think everyone was expecting me to do something bold because that's just the type of person I am," said Warren.
When she walks across the stage on May 19 to receive her diploma, her graduation cap will be decorated with a scannable QR code.
i decorated my graduation cap pic.twitter.com/FBzQ8BTIxo
— Gina (@Gi10eight) May 9, 2019
When scanned, the code will take users to a webpage that she built titled, "i graduated. these high school students couldn't."
The webpage lists students names that were killed during school shootings dating back to the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
"I want to honor them more than anything," said Warren. "Nobody that I know personally has been affected by gun violence, but it's just so heartbreaking to see all these kids who have the same lives as me and my friends. They play the same sports and learn the same subjects. I know that this can happen anywhere and I just constantly put myself in the shoes of the people in these communities."
However, this is not the first time Warren has made a public act in support of gun safety.
Following the 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Warren decided to incorporate orange, the color supporting gun safety, into her prom dress. She wore an orange ribbon with the word "hope" pinned to her dress, orange makeup and even "bedazzled" her shoes with the word "enough."
"In 2018 after the Parkland shooting, I had the same feelings that I do now. It made me so sad to know that these kids couldn't attend prom."
Growing up in Ashville, Ohio, guns are common in most homes, according to Warren.
"My town is very pro-second amendment and a good amount of people I know have guns in their homes. I guess I always thought this was normal and never thought about the dangers of it until these past couple of years."
Her goal: to keep the list from growing any more.
"I want a safer country so no more names are added to that list. I do hope by looking at all these names from all these schools that people realize, no matter where you stand politically, that this is a serious serious problem. There are too many names on that list."
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