Ten years after the Virginia Tech shooting, an attack that left 32 people dead, a woman who survived has made her way to the Mohawk Valley to share her story.
It's something you may not think could happen here or to you. But it happened to Kristina Anderson and now shes traveling the country and visiting our local schools to make sure we're prepared if it does.
"I was in a classroom where he entered several times and he wounded everyone but one in my classroom," Anderson said.
For Kristina Anderson, it took years to be able to speak out about what she went through on April 16, 2007. But now, she's made it a lifestyle as the founder of the Koshka Foundation.
"We work with universities and schools on preparedness," Anderson said.
Nobody was ready to face the reality of what took place that day.
"Unfortunately, we didn't really have any time to prepare. the building itself is an older building, you know sounds kind of reverberate and it was hard to know and there was no kind of consensus, nobody really understood what was happening," Anderson said.
But after going through a long stream of therapy and research, Anderson is giving her perspective on the way first responders should react.
"I try to help them understand that it's really important for them to stop and acknowledge the survivors that are in the spaces that they enter, that that may help shape our recovery going forward," Anderson said.
And for teachers and students, it's the little things that make a difference.
"Fix a door that should have a lock on it, or you fix a window that is actually broken, I think you're sending a stronger signal to the community that we value peace and safety and culture. And those naturally become more resilient communities," Anderson said.
A place Anderson said should be open for conversation to ask, what if...and why?
"That's really where you want to focus on, could this have been averted, and even more so if this happened in our community, and we saw this poem that was found, or this person made this remark, or this person was seen at this point, what would we have done with that," Anderson said.
Anderson will be at MVCC all day and she's hosting a public presentation at 6 pm tonight and an open forum at 6:45.