For Parkland seniors, families, graduation marks the start of a new path: Part 1

The events of Feb. 14, 2018, forever changed the lives of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and the families who lost loved ones in the shooting.
10:57 | 06/06/18

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for For Parkland seniors, families, graduation marks the start of a new path: Part 1
community begng their fht forward.hi a momhat as a parent you should happy. Having your kid receiving a diploma. But our story' totally different. Rorter: That story one of grief and resilience. The Olivers' only son was gunne down along with 16 ss and faculty in his school nearly fouronths ago. Uin was a confident 17-year-old whoed basketball. He was lovedy many. Friends describeim as th light in the room. So comfortable in his own . He wt glow allhe time. Ever wanted T be just LE hi you know? Here we are. Reporter: Family says Joaquin had been looking fward to this moment. Graduation dayt Marjory stonemanuglas. One thing that jin wanted was after receiving his diploma, look inismother's eyes and show her that he did it. Reporter: Amidst a sea of graduatericia Oliver. Accep foroa Oliver, his mom, Patrice. Reporr: Doingt she never thought she'd have todo. Chosen by they to take son's place on stage to accept hisdiploma. Mothers are very powerful. I T if Ty're stronger or the connectionth their son becausof carryin it inside their Bodi it has an extra meaning. Reporter: A moment lost on no one. Hully that image will make an impact. You have no I what it feels to get back home and not having your son here. It's an empty SP and it's sad. And Yo a lot. And you don sleep well. And your to fighr an answer that is not there yet. Joaquin is -- and I like to use E present, okay? I don't like to say joaquinas. Joaquin is. A very friendly, funny guy. Great humor. Badass. Was very deepdude. When it to conversation and thoughts. D ud. Even afters. Th Ian still remember my son the way that I remember reporter:toneman Douglas senior Ariana Ortega is grieving E loss of her childhood friend Carmen. Carmen was one of Ver first friend whitds moved her. She had this quirkiness twas the key aspect of her personality. Carmen, I wasositive she was going to enact change in th D. Shnted to find a cure for S. Unfortunately, she doesn't have that opporty. Eporter: Propelled by the loss, Ariana headed to the state capitol.0arkland students hoping to pressure lawmakers action. Yes, ma'am? Me reprimand driving under influence. Medication for mentalness, drugs. If the mentally ill can't driving under the influence, why should they have a gun their possession? Our judgment as we move forward Reporter: That same day at thehite house, a father who lostis youngest D, Andrew Pollock. I'm notublic speaker. But you get a rage that just comes over you. My daughter has no voice. She was murdered lwe she was takeom us. Shot nine times on the Thi floor. L the school shootings, it N't make sense. Fix it. Should have been O school shooting and we should have fixed it! And I'm pissed! Because my daughter, I'm not going to see a. My dte was meadow jade Pok. And shanworld to me. And she's not here anymore. And she was my baby. She was my princess. She was everything. So I'm not going to lets happenanother family. Like right have the heart of a lion rig here. No one could stop me. Nobody. Rep tresounding ca forhange fro parents and students let Florida governor ric sco to sign into law historic new gun regulations. Ther has just signed a major new bill beef up school safety -- Raises theimum age T buy a rifle ands bump stocks -- Should the students at Marjory Stoneman dugly hig -- youad voices heard. Reporter: They're beside him. Andrew Pollock, whont weeks vocating F school safety. I got 4oreernors to meet up with and listen, it's time to be proactive. Let's start hng the schools and be red. Here we are. And I'm feeling down, I come here, I have his energy surrounding me. And I try T feel fulfill me. These are presents we've been receiving from people. And thes you see here, that was signed they of the funeral. It says, Joaquin, we love you St. We realized the daythe fuhow loved he was. We never knew tacas in others. Reporter: The Olivers a Ng to paft way forward, traveling the countrynstalling public art, "We demand." UT on the headphones, listo the music we used to listen to together, start doingmyg. Joaquin is right there with us, Joaquin is right there painting. I became a tool Joaquin can use to S have a voice. It's not me bei an artist, 'squin being an activist. Thatxactly what the wa are. Some people think, oh my he he get that strength from? No. Not. I am nong. I'm weak. And sad. And angry. Reporter: They C their nonprofit advocacy organization change rto their son's favorite aoal tohange what they say is corrupt decision-making. One of myoals is to be to erase the relatio between the NRA and the politicians theatre because that bring qualified people, unattao any personal interest, to go ahead and H the de that will reach the G control. That is going to be a long, hard fig but we are ced it. Eporter: The Olivers took that fight to Washington, D.C. Joining their son's girlfriend, Victoria, and joaqs best friend, Dillon, at the March our live that's the most supportive momehat I've ever had in my life. 96 people die every day fro guns in our country, most representatie no public stance on guns. And that we say, no more! W wereo proud to be part of it. Reporter: After months of activismnd copingith their losses, moments of normalcy a ritual are a welcome reprieve. It's prom night. This is a night Thate been looking forward toince the nning of high school, really. The whole fairy tale kind scene and des U pretty, doyour makeuand ha this is my D it's very sequiny andrk He's ouron from another home. Ove him S much. Dill has been of this hosince he' probably 5 years old or so. He's Joaquin's brother. Jin was ping on taking her T prom. In honor of him, going T take her. Se whites were from the first bouquet of flowers Joaquin ever got me. He showed U at my door, and he was just sitting there on my step with them in his hands. Look atu! Reporter: This necklace also a reminder of Joaquin. The necklace was from his baptism. I meant, giv that to Tory athat she can have Joaquin Ver C to her. I want her to feel special. Reporter: The weight of the tragedy lifted, if for a Ng moment Once we were inside, youust felt the excitement and the positive energy everyone. Music was playing, they had lights flashing. We had that opportunio get back to that moment, we wanted ivas high scol students as we danced andsmiled, enjoyed senior pro nightith our friends. Reporter:wo weeks later, stability once N quickly intpted. Ayind of felt like eventuallywas going happen here too. Epnother schl shooting takes 10 more S. Ws it stop? Reporter: When we come back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":55683309,"title":"For Parkland seniors, families, graduation marks the start of a new path: Part 1","duration":"10:57","description":"The events of Feb. 14, 2018, forever changed the lives of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and the families who lost loved ones in the shooting. ","url":"/Nightline/video/parkland-seniors-families-graduation-marks-start-path-part-55683309","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}