Inspirational California Teens Changing Their Community

Many High School students have been doing their part in world conservation, and today I want to talk about two specifically. Both students live in California and are making a huge difference in the state. They both use their drive for change to impact California in their own unique way.


Jackson Hinkle is 17 years old and lives in San Clemente, California. He was concerned about the issue of plastic waste causing pollution. As a surfer, this specific situation was huge for Jackson and he knew how damaging it was to the oceans ecosystem. As of this year he has officially become a Water Ambassador for The Water Effect at the Ecology Center. As a result of his concern with plastic water bottles polluting the California oceans, Jackson is leading a campaign in his hometown San Clemente promoting reusable water bottles called “Plastic Free SC.”

He shares his heart for the environment while talking to Teen Vogue, he says, “From the methods in which plastic water bottle companies source their water, to the long lasting effects of plastics in the environment, to the inevitable health hazards of toxins leaching into drinking water from chemicals in plastic bottles, it was clear to me that I needed to take a stand and work towards building a healthier and more sustainable future.” His campaign is encouraging restaurants to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles and is also planning to install water bottle refill stations in his city. 

At only nine years old, Nalleli Cobo, members of her family, and her community were suffering from various illnesses stemming from air pollution caused by an oil site in her South Los Angeles neighborhood. She fought and succeeded in getting the oil site permanently closed for the sake of her family and fellow community members.

Ten years later Nalleli continues her fight for the environment at Whittier College as a freshman environmentalist activist. She is pushing for awareness of oil sites near Los Angeles communities, schools, and other populated areas for the sake of public health. Most recently Cobo has revealed a new fight she is taking on, and that is with her health. Sharing publicly she has been diagnosed with cancer, but she is not giving up either of these fights, even expressing her goal to run for public office sometime in the future. 

As these two passionate teenagers fight for what they believe in, you too can do your part in helping implement change in your community for the better. Doing your part can really make a positive impact in where you live, and can ultimately strengthen your community, and better the lives of those around you.

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