LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) --This week's ABC7 Cool Kid is Heinglee Va, who helps to keep the ocean safe and clean.
For the past year and a half, the 15-year-old has spent most his time at the beach picking up trash.
"I think having a clean beach is safe and also for the marine life as well," Heinglee said.
The sophomore in high school volunteers with the Surfrider Foundation's Long Beach chapter, which is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting the ocean.
Heinglee and other volunteers spend every other weekend preventing trash, like plastic bottles and cigarettes from entering the water.
"Sometimes it's just him, he's there, and a lot of times he's there from beginning to end, and sometimes he's even there before we even start," John Kindred with the Surfrider Foundation said.
Heinglee and his family moved to Long Beach about three years ago and he said joining organizations like the Surfrider Foundation and the Boy Scouts, as well as being a part of the LGBT community, has helped him fit in.
"I'm being more social than how I was back a couple of years ago, because I was like lonely," Heinglee explained.
Heinglee said he hoped to inspire other LGBT children to get involved within their communities. He dreams of becoming a marine biologist one day.
Know an amazing young person making a difference in the community? Learn how to nominate them to be an ABC7 Cool Kid at abc7.com/coolkids.