ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A St. Petersburg father is on a mission to persuade teens to turn away from gun violence after his son was shot and killed.
"Every time a tragedy happens in St. Petersburg, in particularly south St. Petersburg, I hear about it," MYcroSchool Pinellas Principal Steven Humphries said.
Principal Humphries told ABC Action News gun violence has hit way too close to home. Two former students were shot and killed. He said that bad news takes a toll on the students, like Anthony Newton.
"It just hurts you emotionally and physically," Newton said.
On Friday, Maress Scott showed up to show them they're not alone.
"Every time I tell my son's story, I'm filled with the emotion and the trauma of that experience," Scott said.
On September 17, 2019, Marquis Scott was gunned down. It happened shortly after he had dinner with his dad. Now, Scott leads a non-profit named for his son called, "Quis For Life."
"Training a whole new group of kids with a culture of a sense to stand against gun violence and adopt a non-violent lifestyle is the completion of this whole movement," Scott said.
Scott was already invited to Lakewood High School where several students accepted his call to action. He's hoping Friday's visit will be one of many.
"We've had some interests statewide. We have a Pittsburgh pledge against gun violence We have a Gainesville pledge. We have Grand Rapids. We have Milwaukee," Scott said. "We have a number of other cities that are interested. I believe this thing can go nationwide."
But for now, Scott is just as happy seeing more than a dozen students in his own city put pen to paper.
"When they actually signed that pledge, that lets me know that they heard the message," Scott said. "And every time they hear the message, my son is telling me that he's proud."
If you'd like to get involved with Quis for Life, or want Scott to visit your school, you can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook.