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Hadiya Pendleton’s Mom Accepts Mission To Halt Gun Deaths

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CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a job no parent wants–to go on a crusade in memory of their child.

But that’s just what Cleopatra Cowley Pendleton is doing now in the wake of her daughter’s shooting death.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports on her plan to take on gun violence in memory of Hadiya Pendleton, who has killed, allegedly by a gang-banging gunman, as she took shelter from the rain in a Kenwood neighborhood park.

Plans are in the works to establish a foundation, a volleyball scholarship and an academic scholarship in Hadiya’s name.

That academic scholarship would go to “someone’s who has a fondness for academics. Someone who is excited about furthering their education,” said Cowley Pendleton.

This new mission is an acceptance by a grieving mother that her 15-year-old daughter is the national face for the fight against gun violence.

“Initially, I was just speaking out because of the pain I was experiencing, but it has become more than I have imagined so I’m going to keep talking,” she said.

There’s a public service announcement against illegal guns, the trip to Washington, D.C. to talk to the city mayors, meeting the president and a commitment to talk to gang members like the ones who took her daughter’s life.

“Why not make the face real for those individuals willing to go into the wrong direction?” Cowley-Pendleton said. “Why not get in their face and say, ‘Why would you want your mother to feel this way, your aunt, your grandmother.’

“I would love to have my baby back and the cameras off. But I can’t have her back, so I have to keep talking with the cameras on.”

Cowley-Pendleton says she’s heard from a number of politicians, and religious, civic and community leaders.

All of them are willing to help her establish a foundation in Hadiya’s name.