ROANOKE, Va. – A Patrick Henry High School student is creating a platform for students to speak out against gun violence.
Just a few days ago, sophomore Louis Garcia launched the Roanoke Valley's first Students Demand Action chapter.
"Everyone is taking us seriously because now everyone's noticing that we are the ones being affected and we're the ones being left out of the conversation, too," Garcia said.
The 15-year-old is trying to change that for his peers, who have grown up in a time when he said it seems like school shootings are the norm.
"Since fifth grade, since Sandy Hook, I started paying attention. There's always been that fear," Garcia said, referring to the 2012 elementary school shooting in Connecticut.
After the Parkland, Florida shooting in February, that fear turned into fury and action. Garcia organized Patrick Henry High School's walkout a month after the shooting and led a local March for Our Lives event.
"When we don't take this stuff seriously, when it's our lives on the line, then we really need to have like an assembly or something. We need to have a conversation like right now," Garcia said.
Now he's starting that conversation, bringing students together to advocate for new gun laws. Although summer is quickly approaching, he's not focusing on vacation, but on building up his organization.
"I’m a student and I’m fighting for what's right," Garcia said.