What inspired you to begin volunteering when you were younger?
I would have to tie it back to my mother and my grandmother. They would always be on me–they were always telling me that they want me to have a foot ahead, and they want me to know what I want to do when I’m older. They want me to be aware of my surroundings and what’s going on. And to never forget where I came from. Never forgetting where I came from is what sparked me to want to give back to my community that’s done so much for me, and they give to me.
What’s something you wish older adults knew about how it feels to be a young person making your way in the world right now?
I want them to understand that, despite us being the youth and despite us being younger, we still should have a voice in what goes on. For example, my work with climate change, we always talk about how when people think about climate change, sometimes [it’s the] politics point of view, congressmen or officials in the law can make changes in regards to climate change. Whereas us youth we’re talking and we’re trying to help be a part of that change. We’re the youth today, we’re the adults of tomorrow, and us being educated on these topics–we can have a big impact on what goes on in the world, and the roles that we play can help to elicit that change, and better the future.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a student who is younger than you?
Two perspectives on this question: In general, I would say I would want students to do the best that they can. And not to just excel in the classroom, but also try to excel outside the classroom and actually take the time to give back to the world and talk to the people in this world. Gain a different perspective on life than what they have themselves.
From a Woodland Hills standpoint, I would say to challenge themselves and be the best at Woodland Hills right now. I want them to challenge students and to sign up for those AP classes so that we can keep them functioning and running for students to come in; for students that are here now.