PLANT CITY (FOX 13) - Hundreds of thousands of activists and students, including dozens from Tampa Bay, are participating in the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
Thirty students from Strawberry Crest High School left after school Friday for, what will likely be, a 13-hour drive.
"Nobody should have to feel like they're scared to go to school," said N'Dia Webb, a sophomore at the school who organized the trip.
The rally is led by the survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, where a gunman killed 17 people last month.
The demonstrators are calling for stricter gun laws and better mental health services.
"After Parkland, it really registered to me that this is something that could happen to any of our schools. It could happen to us next," said Webb.
Webb immediately got to work, raising $11,000 to cover their travel expenses.
Their parents and grandparents, some of whom accompanied the students as chaperones, said they are watching these teenagers in amazement.
"As a parent it's motivating me and inspiring me to get up an do more for my community," said Sherri Gay, N'Dia's mother, who described the movement as "historic" and "extraordinary."
"All they want is what anyone would want: to go to school, be in a safe environment, learn and go on with their lives," added Raymond Thomas, a Strawberry Crest High School grandparent.
Several similar rallies are taking place in Tampa Bay and are expected to draw hundreds this weekend.