Sophomore Jojo Greenberg remembered in vigil


A student holds a candle at the vigil. Community members gathered at Whitman to remember Jojo Greenberg, who passed away Nov. 27. Photo by Olivia Matthews.

By Eric Neugeboren

As candles flickered in the light rain, hundreds of community members gathered in front of the school for a vigil Nov. 30 to remember sophomore Jojo Greenberg, who passed away three days earlier.

Jojo was a member of the JV volleyball team and cheerleading squad and an active member of the Animal Society and Best Buddies.

Principal Alan Goodwin began the ceremony by expressing his sadness over Jojo’s passing.

“We lost a student and I don’t want to lose any more students,” Goodwin said. “We need to work together on that.”

Goodwin then read a letter on behalf of the Greenberg family.

“She touched so many lives with her beauty, goodness, concern for others and her love,” the family wrote. “She lost a hard and painful battle to depression that she hid from almost everyone.”

Members of Jojo’s volleyball team shared stories of her energy and compassion. Senior Lucia Mitnik recounted her connection with Jojo.

“She and I were attached at the hip,” Mitnik said. “I was her favorite cheerleader and she was mine. My favorite memory was after we had lost brutally to Wootton. We got onto the highway, turned the music all the way up and our singing turned into screaming. But it made her smile and laugh and she was happy for a moment.”

Sophomore Abby Green followed the team’s comments by discussing the health struggles she and Jojo shared.

“The most important and memorable conversation I had with her was when she told me about her experiences in the hospital,” Green said. “I have spent time in the hospital and knowing someone as kind and positive as her gave me such a relief and made her even more perfect.”

At several points during the vigil, assistant principal Jerome Easton asked the crowd to whisper “Jojo.”

Sophomore Maddie Menkes shared how meaningful her friendship with Jojo was.

“Words cannot describe how amazing of a daughter, sister, friend, teammate and student Jojo was,” Menkes said. “She was the kind of person that made an impact in every person’s life. We love you, Jojo.”