Eighth-grader Jane Halpern, of Upper Saddle River, is a dancer like one of the 14-year-old victims. Zach Fessler, 17, said Parkland is a community just like his in Upper Saddle River. And Hannah White said one of victims looked just like one of her friends.
"These people are our age, this is our generation, these are people we could have met in college, these people could have been our friends, our college roommates, our spouses and we never got a chance to meet them," White, of Basking Ridge, said. "Because they were taken by guns."
Students in Parkland are channeling their anger into action, pushing lawmakers to pass stricter gun laws. And that student-led movement around safer schools -- and holding elected officials accountable -- is catching on in New Jersey.
NJ Advance Media spoke to students across the state who are organizing in their communities, inspired by the Parkland #neveragain movement.
"It was the fact that this thing was directly happening to us," said Livingston High Schooler Sarah Giulianti, who is organizing a walkout at her school on March 14. "If something is affecting us, we should make an active effort to change it."
For some that means tighter gun laws. For others, it's about encouraging young people to vote. And for one of the younger activists, it's simply about getting involved.
"No matter what age you are, you can try to make a difference and you can try to help those in need," Halpern, 14, said.