Sean Casten’s daughter Gwen, a 17-year-old high school student and current freshman in college, died unexpectedly today.
“This morning, Congressman Casten’s beloved daughter, Gwen (17), passed away,” the tweet from the Democrat, who was elected in 2018, read. “The Casten family requests privacy, and we will be issuing no further comment during this heartbreaking time.”
Chicago-Tribune reports that Downers Grove police said they were called to a home in the area Monday, “for an unresponsive seventeen year old female,” where “first responders determined that the subject was deceased.”
Casten’s office did not add any information about her cause of death.
She is a recent graduate of Downers Grove North High School and plans to attend University of Vermont in the fall to study environmental science. She was recently featured on a national campaign video with her father and she shared how turning 18 would mean that she has “big plans.”
Gwen said in the ad, “Lots of milestones.” adding “Like voting for the first time. However, not just for anyone… Sean Casten. My Congressman. But I just call him dad.”
On Instagram, the AAPI Student Union at her high school stated, “We are heartbroken over the loss,” going on to describe the “key role” Gwen played “in bringing about positive change” to her high school.
Gwen was a leader at North. She was involved in many different activities, from Changemakers, band, NHS, math team and tennis. Gwen and her father also recognized the importance of protecting the environment and the dangers that arose if we kept polluting our planet.
They described Gwen as someone who “always had their back,” and said that she “did whatever she could to support and amplify [People of Color’s] voices.”
“Remember that carrying on her legacy means standing up for what you believe in, and going above and beyond to make the world a better place” the post added. “Rest in Peace Gwen.”
Her high school’s empowerment club took to Instagram to commemorate Gwen. They shared a few words that best describe the loss they’re feeling.
Gwen, the founder and leader of Empowerment Club, was cherished by all. Her hard work, determination, and beautiful personality were inspirations to everyone. She was so loved and her incredible impact will live forever within our community. Thank you Gwen, for everything you have done to influence our lives and fill them with love and positivity. You were truly a force to be reall