Edna Chavez and the 14 other teen activists who went to D.C. returned Sunday night after taking part in the historic march. Their message - It's time to do something about the gun violence in South L.A.
"It was a really emotional experience, but it was also a very beautiful and great experience. This has empowered me a lot, it has empowered all of us," Chavez said.
Ready to continue the fight at home, Chavez and the other teen activists say the historic march was a game changer not just for them, but for the battle for stronger gun control.
"When talking about gun violence, let's not talk about only mass shootings because even though those are grand, and they are emotional, we need to talk about the day-to-day levels - the families that are affected and the families that are not talked about with this impact," said student Fernando Mosqueda.
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Chavez shared her personal story of loss with the world in an emotional speech about her brother, who was shot and killed, and how common gun violence is in South L.A.
"This is normal, normal to the point that I learned how to duck from bullets before I learned how to read," Chavez said in her speech.
"Our voice, South L.A.'s voice was heard nationally, Chicago's voice was heard nationally, low income communities were heard on a national level, so change is on the rise," student Nathaniel Belteton said.
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Chavez said the next step in fighting the epidemic is getting more resources into the communities that need them the most.
"The mental health resources, the mentorship programs, the job opportunities and paid internship programs -- that's what's needed in South L.A.," she said.
Chavez and the other teens say they are committed to fighting for change, saying lives depend on it.
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