Orange County girl who received letter from Obama works to save marine wildlife

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- One Orange County girl is proving no dream is too big and is working to help marine wildlife. She's been making waves in Washington since she was 6 years old, thanks to former President Obama.

If Audrey Kim is not on the soccer field, she spends a lot of her free time helping the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.

"I love all animals, but my favorite is the California sea lion," Audrey said.

The nonprofit helps rescue and care for marine mammals. Audrey has been helping out since 2016, which is when Eyewitness News first met her.

At just 6, she wrote a letter to then President Obama after reading a book about oil spills. She told the president she was "scared and nervous about oil spills."

Obama wrote back and even sent photos. The act inspired the little girl.

"Everything all took off from there," her father said.

Audrey's parents helped her set up a page online to raise money for PMMC. She also donated her birthday money and her goal was to raise $1,000. She's managed to triple that at more than $3,000.

"What she's done is really inspiring. Part of our mission is to be ocean stewards and she's just a shining example of that," said Krysta Higuchi, with the mammal center.

Audrey now teaches others about the environment. She has her own YouTube channel and her own blog - Audrey4Care - Care for Animals, Respect for the Earth.

"If I had one wish, I would wish for every single animal to have a good life," Audrey said.

Her efforts were recognized by PMMC, which chose her as the junior philanthropist of the year.

Audrey also got invited to Washington D.C. She's among 20 students from across the U.S. to receive the president's Environmental Youth Award.

She hopes to inspire other kids.

"I was overly very excited to get the award," she said. "Sometimes, we're little but we can do big things."
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