Who: Alexandria Villaseñor, 14
What: Fights climate change
In 2018, Alexandria Villaseñor was visiting Davis, California, when smoke from a wildfire raging 100 miles away blanketed the town. The fire burned about 150,000 acres. Alexandria learned that its destructive force was likely the result of climate change: As temperatures rise, branches and trees dry out, becoming kindling for wildfires.
Inspired by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, Alexandria began to spend Fridays outside the United Nations (U.N.) in New York City, where she lives. Her demand to world leaders: Reduce carbon emissions, a key cause of global warming, by 50 percent by 2030.
Today, Alexandria has a huge social media following and is busy with marches and speeches. But on Fridays, she still leads climate strikes. “Teens have to force the adults to act because by the time we’re in power, it will be too late,” she says.