El Paso just passed the one year anniversary of the August 3, 2019, Cielo Vista Walmart massacre. A year of dealing with the terror of that day, a year of trying to cope with the aftermath. In Arizona, a former Congresswoman understands the aftermath of gun violence because she experienced it firsthand.

On January 8, 2011, Gabby Giffords was holding a meeting for her constituents outside a Safeway grocery store in her district when a man with a gun opened fire. He hit 19 people, killed six including a federal judge. Gabby was shot in the head. In the years since the incident, Gabby has become an anti-gun violence activist.

Two years ago, Gabby enlisted the help of young people to get the message out about gun violence and other challenges facing American youth. This year, an El Paso student is among the class of Courage Fellows, and she is helping the Giffords Courage Fellowship spread the word about stopping gun violence.

From the Giffords Courage Fellowship website:

"Mariana Meza is a high school junior from El Paso, Texas, who proudly identifies with her border community and is excited to contribute to and learn about the issue of gun violence prevention in this new capacity. Prior to starting the March for Our Lives El Paso chapter, Mariana recognized the work of March for Our Lives, along with other community-based organizations, as a crucial step to altering the culture of gun violence. She hopes to join the ranks of passionate Giffords fellows who work is grounded in improving the wellbeing of their communities, and dedicate her efforts to fighting for sensible gun violence prevention policies, ensuring that those who hold office are held accountable for the lives of their constituents."

The Walmart shooting brought gun violence to our backyards. We will never be the same city post August 3,2019, but hopefully with young people like Mariana Meza, we can make changes in our community and our country and change the culture of gun violence.