It’s been more than a month since Fil-Am high school senior Carmen Schentrup was among those killed during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. For Carmen’s family, the pain still lingers.
“For literally 12 hours we just didn’t know. I found out through a phone call from my dad and once I picked up the phone and heard him crying, I knew the answer. That was hard that night. I didn’t sleep at all,” said her brother Robert.
Carmen traces her Pinay roots to her grandmother Florenda Rosal Nicoloff, a native of Zambales. Carmen’s mother April was born at the Subic Bay Air Force base.
In an exclusive interview with BA, Carmen’s brother Robert described his sister, who would have turned 17 a week after the shooting took place, as a caring person with a sense of humor.
“I want people to remember her for the fun caring and kind individual she was. But also that she had a very witty sense of humor about her.”
In a statement, the Schentrup family described their daughter as smart and dedicated. Carmen was accepted into the University of Florida’s honors program, where she wanted to become a medical scientist.
The family says that missing their Carmen no longer feels like enough. That’s why they took to Washington DC last weekend to join the masses of people calling for stricter gun control legislation.
“It’s something that affects not only our family but so many other families as well. In America, gun violence happens everyday and 96 people die from it every single day. And that’s something that needs to change.”
The Schentrup family is now working with nonprofit organization Everytown, a survivor network for those affected by gun violence that lobbies in Washington DC for gun control.
Robert, a student at the University of Central Florida, is also joining the Brady campaign in order to register more student voters, with a goal of electing more officials who support gun control in the midterm elections.
“While there’s this big push for that to happen, I want to make sure I’m doing my part to further that and make sure that something comes out of this.”
It’s Robert’s own way of making sure his sister Carmen’s legacy is not forgotten.