Sweet Memories of Beloved Children

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Jennie Clark, grandmother of Lamont, with Patrick Volf and Terrence Boykins.

Jennie Clark, grandmother of Lamont Adams, with Patrick Volf and Terrence Boykins, both 14. Need in Deed hide caption

itoggle caption Need in Deed

A group of eighth-graders took on a monumental project as their class project: memorializing the 35 school-aged children killed by gun violence in the past year in Philadelphia.

For their year-long project, the students set out to record the memories and impressions of the surviving parents and grandparents of teenagers who were killed. In the project, pairs of students interviewed parents and grandparents.

The encounters grouped grieving adults with interviewers who were usually no older than their lost son or daughter, as the victims' personalities and dreams were detailed.

The group of young researchers with their sources. i

Students and organizers with Susie Johnson, grandmother of Malik Upchurch. Need in Deed hide caption

itoggle caption Need in Deed
The group of young researchers with their sources.

Students and organizers with Susie Johnson, grandmother of Malik Upchurch.

Need in Deed

In Depth

'The Philadelphia Inquirer' stories on each case:

In the interviews, the same basic theme was often repeated: A desire for a beloved child or grandchild to be remembered — and a wonder at what might have been.

A listing of participants in the four interviews featured by StoryCorps:

Pamela Sanders, mother of Tyrique Lovett

Interviewed by:

Vincent Roberts

Montez White


Susie Johnson, grandmother of Malik Upchurch

Interviewed by:

Dymenay Merrill

Darryl Moore


Rick Alston, father of Uri Alston

Interviewed by:

Victoria Chau

Vincent Roberts


Jennie Clark, grandmother of Lamont Adams

Interviewed by:

Terrence Boykins

Patrick Volf

The Philadelphia gun-violence project is part of a community outreach program from Need in Deed, a local youth group founded in 1987, and StoryCorps, the national oral history project collecting stories from around the country.

Excerpts from the StoryCorps oral history project can be heard every Friday on 'Morning Edition'. Recordings of participants' conversations also go to the Library of Congress.

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