'She was going to change the world,' family says of slain Stoneman Douglas student

Carmen Schentrup, 16, remembered as a driven student, loving daughter

PARKLAND, Fla. – Carmen Schentrup was one of 17 people killed Wednesday in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Her family released the following statement: 

Our hearts go out to all the families who must endure this excruciating pain with us. As we attempt to bear our part of this incomprehensible tragedy, we want to share a glimpse about our beloved daughter Carmen.

While many people considered Carmen mature beyond her years (she recently joked people had been asking her how she liked college since she was a freshman), she was still a kid at heart. She was silly, playful, and huggable. As parents, we loved that she never outgrew our hugs and would hug us before she went to bed. We miss her hugs.

Carmen was funny, in witty and novel ways. When she got on a roll, we’d laugh until tears rolled
down our cheeks. We miss her making us laugh.

Carmen was strong. When she was 12, she had major surgery that resulted in four metal rods
sticking out of her leg for months. She never once complained about it and never attempted to hide the scars. Not one to pass up a good joke though, she would often come up with funny stories about her scars, like when she said she got them “running with the bulls”. We miss her strength and courage.

Carmen loved a good story and devoured books, routinely reading over 100 per year. Like most
teenagers, she also enjoyed TV and movies, especially sci-fi, fantasy, and comedies. We miss her stories.

Carmen was artistic and loved music. She enjoyed drawing and visiting art museums. She played piano, violin, guitar, and sang in our church choir. We miss her filling our home with music.

Carmen was a dreamer. A couple of years ago she dreamed of visiting Germany, so she spent a year teaching herself the language. Last summer, she planned our family vacation to Germany and played the role of translator and guide. We miss seeing her make her dreams come true.

Carmen was dedicated and accomplished. As a student, she was quite literally a “straight A” student and a National Merit Finalist (Carmen never knew this. Her award letter arrived the day after she died). Earlier this month, she was accepted into the University of Florida Honors program and was exuberant to begin her college experience. She wanted to become a medical scientist and discover a cure for horrible diseases, like ALS. She was going to change the world.

Carmen was blessed to have great friends. Friends who enjoyed one another’s company and stayed true to themselves. The kind of friends that, in our family’s hour of need, scoured the local hospitals searching for our little girl and stayed with us until our worst fears were confirmed. Their kindness is beyond measure.

To our dear Carmen, you are a bright, beautiful, young woman bursting into the world. You are an amazing daughter, sister, and friend. You fill our lives with loving memories that we will always cherish. You are a gift from God and into His arms you return. May His divine embrace now hug you so very tenderly where we cannot. We love and miss you dearly.

About the Author:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.