10:56 AM PDT, July 28, 2022
Ava Swiss, 18, sang “Remember” by Lauren Daigle.
But last November, the teen went through a terrifying ordeal when 16-year-old Ethan Crumbley allegedly shot four students to death at Oxford High School.
Crumbley’s parents were charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting. The family is awaiting trial and have all pleaded not guilty.
“My brother and I were part of the Oxford school shooting, and we’ve lost four of our students and seven others were injured,” Swiss told the judges.
A nerve-wracked Swiss FaceTimed with her brother just before the performance. When she got on stage, she told her story with a lot of dignity.
“My brother and I, we were talking to each other and we said there’s no way we’re ever stepping foot back in the school. But we’ve actually been in person in school for about two months now, so things are getting better,” Swiss said.
Swiss’s mother choked up as she watched her daughter’s performance from the wing. When she finished, the audience gave her a rousing standing ovation.
Swiss says singing the song she chose helps her remember that there’s still good in the world.