Sophomore Advocates For A Safer Tomorrow


Gomes, who survived the Sandy Hook shooting, fights for gun reform. (Courtesy of Jordan Gomes for The Fordham Ram)

On Dec. 12, 2012, Jordan Gomes, FCRH ’25, was thrust into adulthood at a young age when she became a survivor of the Sandy Hook shooting, an act of gun violence which claimed the lives of 26 students and staff between the ages of six and 56.

The shooting caused a ripple effect across the world, provoking calls for the ban of assault weapons. It was the deadliest shooting in the United States at the time and remains the deadliest shooting at an elementary school. Gomes became a gun violence prevention advocate in 2017; she now works for Newtown Action Alliance, a grassroots organization that started in her own hometown.

“Gun violence was an issue that struck my community very violently, and thus I became involved in the movement as a way to heal,” said Gomes. She frequently travels to Washington, D.C. to speak to legislators about the importance of preventing gun violence and advocates for the development of public policy that is both trauma-informed and “addresses the root causes of the violence itself,” said Gomes.

In 2023, there have already been 130 mass shootings. This has inspired thousands of students across the United States to advocate for gun violence prevention through various policy changes. 

“Time and time again we see that many causes of gun violence can be traced back to systemic issues such as poor mental health access, discrimination and unsafe cultures surrounding guns – issues that are often prevalent in these communities and homes before the shootings take place,” said Gomes.

The rash of shootings has also highlighted how desperately the United States needs change. Gomes is “incredibly passionate” about the cause, believing more than anything else that “solutions exist.”

“The first step towards change is when something inside of you tells you ‘this isn’t right,’” said Gomes. “That’s the thing that sparks all movements.”

Gomes has been featured in the Washington Post, mostly recently on the 10-year anniversary of the shooting alongside other survivors, where she spoke about her experience during the shooting and how her time at Fordham has changed her perspective on the experience. The continued prevalence of school shootings, namely the Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Uvalde shootings have continued to reopen the same scarred wound, as well as reigniting political tensions across the country.

Additionally, she has been featured in Teen Vogue and on CNN featuring Anderson Cooper. With the platform she has developed, Gomes uses her power for good to raise awareness, encourage advocacy and speak on the issues that destroyed her hometown community 10 years ago.

“Every morning I wake up and for a moment I know peace – existence without the fear and heartache that has been wrought by violence. I strive for that above all else,” said Gomes. “For myself, for community – for all of us, as a collective people.”

As time goes on, the memory of what happened remains, but Gomes has managed to turn it into something beautiful in her efforts to spark change. Until students no longer live in fear of going to school, Gomes and the organizations she works with as well as her fellow advocates will continue to petition lawmakers at the state, federal and local level to make a concerted effort against gun violence so that, one day, no one has to experience a school shooting – or any shooting – ever again.