Connor Gage was a likable and athletic student at Little Falls High School.
"He was just a good kid. He was friends with everyone. Always smiling, always positive," said Little Falls Assistant Superintendent of Schools Bart Tooley.
Gage graduated and went to the University of Vermont. In February, the 19-year-old was found dead in a cold and snowy Vermont parking lot after a long night.
He was alone.
"This really hit a wide range of students and the adults that were here," Tooley said.
"You can never stress the importance of The Buddy System," said Gage's mother Dorothy Connor.
Connor has found the strength to warn other students to never walk alone. She spoke to Little Falls and Herkimer students on Monday.
"If you said it to them 100 times a day, that wouldn't be enough. It's important that they understand there's safety in numbers, mutual accountability," Connor said.
Connor feels like young men don't hear the message to always have people with you as often as young women hear it.
"We teach girls to stick together, stay together. You’re safer if you’re with a group, don’t go alone. And I think it’s an important message especially for young men," she said.
She uses bracelets to help remind students.
"They don't ever come off. If you care about somebody, if you care about anybody, don't ever leave them alone," said student Lorenzo Scarano. He was friends with Gage.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Connor Gage’s mother share her story at other schools.