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Saint Joseph High School students drown in Lake Michigan


Two students from South Bend’s Saint Joseph High School drowned in Lake Michigan over the weekend.

Brothers Ahmed and Saleem Qasem were swimming at Warren Dunes State Park on Sunday with two others. Three of the swimmers went into deep water, where they went into distress. One swimmer was saved, but efforts to revive the Qasem brothers were unsuccessful.

A GoFundMe page for the family has received over 1,000 donations and raised over $80,000 dollars.

An all-school mass and Divine Mercy Chaplet were held at Saint Joseph High School Monday, and counseling was made available to students and staff.

In a statement, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and St. Joseph High School Principal John Kennedy asked for the community’s prayers.

“One of our core values is Build Family,” Kennedy said in the statement. “This means standing beside one another through the sorrows as well as the triumphs. We will walk through this grief together and call upon our faith to guide and strengthen us at this time. We ask for your prayers for the family, our students, faculty, and staff.”

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Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.