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Teens with a Purpose holds vaccine clinic to honor Norfolk girl who passed from COVID-19

The youth group Teens with a Purpose wanted to give people a reason to get vaccinated. That reason is close to many members' hearts.

NORFOLK, Va. — Members of the Teens with a Purpose youth program showed up to a vaccine event Wednesday to remember their friend, Schwanda Corprew.

Corprew, who was 17, passed away unexpectedly from COVID-19 complications just four days before her scheduled first dose.

The clinic, held in Purpose Park, encouraged people to get their free COVID-19 vaccines.

Administrative Director of the youth program, Michelle Sims, said the group wanted to honor Corprew in a way that would also serve the community. Sims described Corprew as someone who always had ambition.

"She would just jump in and help without even asking her. Although she was quiet, she was a strong young lady. She was just beautiful," said Sims. "We want to make sure people are protected."

Youth group members wanted to pass along the same ambition to the rest of the community, and found success in their event.

RELATED: 'Sweet angel' | 17-year-old girl in Norfolk dies of COVID-19 complications

Chester Chincuanco was at the park Wednesday. He waited months to get his first dose.

"You know, it's brand new and there's also so many questions, different theories," he explained. "I was never against it, but I wasn't all for it."

He said he finally found a reason to get vaccinated, after learning about Corprew's sudden passing.

"I think the story tipped the iceberg," Chincuanco said. "I think it's tragic and everybody needs to do something to protect themselves."

A handful of people showed up to the clinic, including some teens who got their first doses. 

While the clinic's turnout ended up smaller than the youth group hoped for, they were happy their message and Corprew's memory gave others motivation to get vaccinated.

Teens with a Purpose worked with the city of Norfolk to organize the pop-up clinic. The group says it will continue to incorporate the memory of Schwanda Corprew in future activities with the community.