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Dylan Zavala

Age 18

Chicago, Illinois

Playing the lead in his own story

A year before, he had played the lead in the Storycatchers’ production of “Living Life Backwards,” which was based on his own story of getting kicked out of school and then turning his life around. He graduated from Curie Metropolitan High School and had just been hired by Portillo’s Restaurant.

That summer, he was out in West Pershing on what became Chicago, Illinois’ most violent weekend in more than two years. Six hundred police officers were added to patrol.

On Aug. 10, 2018, Dylan Zavala, 18, was shot in the head. People mourned that a talented writer was lost.

By Taylor Fang · Age 16
Meet the Reporters

More than 40 artists

Lia Lin Collier

A light, “unrelenting joy” extinguished

Peyton Nicole Hurt

Still helping others, even in death

Beverly McBride

Purple hair, just like her dad

Ricky Ryon Willis III

YouTuber was destined for great things

James J. Springer III

“The man” who never grew up

Zachary Mulford

Summer job turns into winter grief

Lashonda Sharreice Childs

A beautician who cried for help

Joaquin Oliver

A poet silenced, a brother missed

LaMar De’Shawn Foster

Son will live without his father

Cedric Leonard Small

"Nerd trying to be a gangster"

Jesus G. Reyes

Skateboarder inspired others with his art

Jaden Christopher Salois

Loved rap, then his song ended

Jamie Marie Kernop

Loved her Polaroid camera, sunsets, and sunflowers

Andy Kim

Fourth-grader with an artistic, gentle spirit

Fermin Alonso-Alonso Jr.

No more beautiful things to make

Shana Lorraine Fisher

16 for only a few days

Aric Whaley

He helped his neighbors shovel snow

Londyn Faith Strawn

Gymnast, artist, proud owner of Buttercup

Jordan Anthony Coleman

Recent grad with a passion for art

Rickey J. Nelson

Wanted to be a role model