NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY)- A local nonprofit is hosting a vaccination clinic in honor of a teen who died from COVID-19.
Last week, the Virginia Department of Health reported the first child death from COVID-19 in the state’s eastern district. 10 On Your Side confirmed the identity of the child as 17-year-old Schwanda Corprew, who was a rising senior at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk.
Corprew had attended the nonprofit Teens With A Purpose for two years and attended the organization’s camp over the summer, according to executive director Deirdre Love.
According to Corprew’s family, the teen had complained of a headache and they thought she was suffering from a cold before she died on July 30 at home.
Corprew was scheduled to get her COVID-19 vaccination on Aug. 3, according to her family.
Students and staff at Teens With a Purpose were hit hard by the news of Corprew’s death and wanted to do something to honor her life by saving others.
“We want to make sure, like her family said, that people take this seriously and get tested and get vaccinated because we know the vaccine is our secret weapon. We can protect each other and ourself [sic]. Just hoping Schwanda’s life and legacy will be the reason people that people came out and just wake up and prevent death and a health crisis that a vaccination can really change,” Love said.
The vaccination clinic will be held at the organization’s Purpose Park, which is located across from its center.
Love says it’s a special place to hold such an important event.
“This was to be a space where the community could gather and feel healthy and supported and valuable. This is the right place to feel health and wholeness,” she said.
Love hopes that people will take advantage of the clinic, where they can vaccinate up to 100 people. She doesn’t believe that location accessibility is necessarily holding people back from getting their shots.
“Because we’re centered to a vulnerable community to COVID with health disparities that exist, it’s very common that our community is the first one hit. It’s not just access to the vaccine, but we feel like it’s not a critical thing we need to do now and there are various reasons why people aren’t doing it,” she said. “Just knowing a young person has passed away that’s part of the community, and there’s something everyone in this community can do to prevent this from happening again, this is the difference,” she said.
Love says Teens With a Purpose has supported teens in the St. Paul’s area throughout the pandemic, whether it’s through virtual programming, hybrid events, mask giveaways, and more. Now that they lost one of their own, they’ll continue to be there for the community.
“We’re taking it day by day. Our live programming is suspended. It’s different than any other thing. We don’t want to go right back to it because we need to grieve and process what happened. Teens With A Purpose is like a family, so we’re just processing it daily and walking through the process together,” she said.
The vaccination clinic will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 11 from 2-3:30 p.m. at Purpose Park, located at 801 Church Street.
“No mother, no child, no person should have to die if you can have a vaccination that can save your life, so take it really seriously,” Love said.
The Corprew family is holding a service for Schwanda at 11 a.m. Aug. 18 and can be watched live online. Details can be found here.