What to Know About Jaclyn Corin, Class President Who Became National Activist After School Shooting

Florida school shooting survivor Jaclyn Corin has turned her pain into activism

Despite being elected junior class president at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 17-year-old Jaclyn Corin had never been driven by politics or activism. But all of that changed in a single afternoon.

On Feb. 14, Corin lost close friend Joaquin Oliver during the massacre that killed 14 students and three staff members at their school in Parkland, Florida.

The next day, her purpose was clear: take action to stop gun violence.

Here are five things to know about the young student activist:

1. Her #WhatIf Video Received 1.4 million Views in Three Days

Corin is among several survivors who helped launch a social media campaign to pressure lawmakers to take measures to stop gun violence.

They are encouraging students across the country to create and share their own videos using the hashtag #WhatIf.

“What if leading politicians valued children’s lives over dollars?” Corin says in the video. “What if 19-year-olds didn’t have access to weapons of war?”

2. She’s Junior Class President — But Became a National Activist the Day After Shooting

Before the attack at her school, Corin would not have described herself as politically-minded, according to an article in the New Yorker. “Not even a little bit,” she said.

On Feb. 15, the day after the school shooting, she learned her friend Joaquin Oliver was one of the victims. “She cried so hard that her parents had to hold her down,” the article states.

She was immediately compelled to do something and she began posting to social media.

“I knew that I wanted to change something,” Corin told the Naples Daily News. “I’m the type of person, when something bad happens to me, I can’t just sit back and cry and go in a ball. I like to speak out and I like to act and distract myself from pain.”

News: Gun Control Protest
Hali Tauxe/Tallahassee Democrat/USA TODAY NETWORK/Sipa

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3. She’s a Prominent Member of the #NeverAgain Movement

Within days of the shooting, Cameron Kasky founded the #NeverAgain movement on Twitter. It calls on lawmakers to introduce and enact legislation mandating stricter background checks for people who want to purchase firearms.

Kasky and his friends, including Corin, gathered together to discuss their response to the violence, and #NeverAgain took shape. Ever since, the group has been speaking with media outlets, pushing for gun safety nationwide.

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4. She Organized a Trip to Tallahassee and Made Her Voice Heard Along With Fellow Students

Days after the shooting, Corin was writing press releases about a trip she organized for her classmates to visit Florida’s state capitol in Tallahassee to meet with state legislators.

In the beginning, she said she didn’t know if any of her classmates would join her. More than 100 of her peers and chaperones made the trip.

Since then, she has conducted meetings with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and many others, including the state’s attorney general.

5. She welcomed her return back to school

On Sunday, students were invited to return to the high school for the first time since the shooting before classes resumed Wednesday. They were able to greet their friends, meet with teachers and pick up their backpacks.

For Corin, the occasion was a chance to see the memorial dedicated to her classmates, and a reminder to her commitment.

The day before classes started on Wednesday, she tweeted a quote from her school’s namesake — Marjory Stoneman Douglas, an environmental activist who championed protecting the Everglades.

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