Demi Lovato invites Parkland survivors onstage to kick-off tour
UPI News Service, 02/28/2018
Demi Lovato kicked-off her Tell Me You Love Me world tour in San Diego by inviting students onstage who survived the mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
"On February 14, one of the worst mass shootings in American history took place. These students were in school that day. Please welcome them to the stage," the singer said as she presented students Julius Castillo, Mackenzie Marie Chapman, Samantha Megan Deitsch, Maia Hebron, Eden Hebron and Sarah Stricker in order to share their stories.
The moment was made in partnership with Comprehensive Assistance Support Treatment (CAST) Centers. The organization is joining Lovato on her tour to host free group therapy-like sessions.
"It has nothing to do with politics. It's about healing. It was how can we help these students heal from what they've been through?" Lovato said.
"These students that came here today and shared their stories are so incredibly brave and courageous and they really are warriors in my eyes."
Fans in attendance were also able to text donations to the CAST foundation to go towards mental health resources for students.
Lovato was inspired to partner with CAST on her tour due to own struggle with bipolar disorder and to fight the stigma attached to mental illness.
Copyright 2018 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.