Cool Kid Vanessa Villanueva heads environmental club to protect the planet

COLTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Our ABC7 Cool Kid for Thursday, April 20, is Vanessa Villanueva, who believes children should feel as responsible as adults about doing something for the planet.

"To take on this kind of task is crucial to our future," she said.

The Colton High Senior became president of the Eco Friendly Friends Club and made it her mission to educate others about things like climate change and pollution. But she does more than just talk about it.

"We do a campus cleanup every week and we do a gardening session as well. It's really fun, it's not really a chore, it's like, oh let's go clean up and improve our community," she said.

The club also joins other groups to do beach cleanups once a month. Teacher Valerie Pelletier said the 18-year-old also helped re-vamp the high school's recycling program, which has had an impact on teachers, too.

"She has this ability to inspire everybody. So she joined this club that was just kind of barely hanging on and she got all these kids to join," she said. "A lot of teachers have recycling boxes now that they didn't used to."

It is also no surprise that after high school, Vanessa said she hopes to major in environmental studies in college.
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