NORFOLK, Va. - Seventeen-year-old Schwanda Corprew spent hours building gardens and planting flower beds in Purpose Park in Downtown Norfolk before she died.
"She was passionate about her community, and she had really high hopes for seeing her community improve," said Michelle Sims with Teens with a Purpose.
Corprew, a rising senior at Booker T. Washington High School, died at home from COVID-19 on July 30, just four days before she was set to receive her vaccination.
"As you can see, we lost someone so near and dear to us, and it's very important to protect ourselves and take pride and care with our wellness," said Jasmine Valentine, also with TWaP.
"I am not ready to see young people around me in this situation, and I don't want it to happen to anyone," said Sims.
Hearing the news of the teen's death, Norfolk resident Lavonne Pledger brought his two 14-year-old children to the clinic.
"At first it was scary for them, but after our conversation and talking about it, we all felt it was necessary with the numbers going back up," said Pledger.
Dr. Parham Jaberi, acting director of the Norfolk Department of Public Health, says the rising cases in our area trending to a much younger population.
"That unfortunate death of the teenager is a stark reminder that COVID can impact anyone with any health condition," said Jaberi. "All the of the individuals who can get vaccinated - like parents, older siblings - need to do so; they provide a cocooning where the virus has no way in."
Parents we talked to Wednesday say getting shots into their children's arms gives them just a little added peace of mind as we all navigate this recent surge.
"I think being overly cautious at this point is necessity," said Pledger.