Izabella Hernandez –14 Years Old
(HOK: I recently spent most of a day with Izabella Hernandez, a 14 year old girl with a mission to change the world. We began the morning at Key Largo School, where she read to a class of fifth grade kids. Before starting the book, she did a brief talk about her project and the up-coming cleanup event on February 27. I was amazed to see the excitement from the kids. Many of them had already signed up to participate in the cleanup. We later moved to Made To Order Restaurant for our interview, and lunch. Made To Order is one of Izabella’s generous sponsors, and will be providing the location and snacks for the after party following the cleanup, as well as sponsoring the radio advertising and live broadcast on SUN FM.)
Izabella: “My mission is to clean up the world and make it a better place for the future. We kids did not create the litter problem. But this is our world and our future…so it’s up to us to fix it.
I’ve been doing videos for See My Beach for years. One day we were doing a video shoot out on Indian Key. My cameraman told me to move to the left because there was litter in the shot; then he told me to move a little more to the left because there was more litter in the shot. The next day, I called him up and said, “Instead of moving to not show the litter, why don’t we start cleaning it up?” That’s when I started Help End All Litter, a non-profit dedicated to cleaning up litter all over the world.
I want to be doing this my whole life. I want to make a difference in the world and I hope other kids will join me. We want to inspire kids all over the world to start doing what I am doing, wherever they are. I think of it like boy scouts or girl scouts, where different troops all over the world take it into their own hands and start working to clean up litter. We will provide them with their own website on HelpEndAllLitter.org., and we’ll help get them off their feet and get them started cleaning up the world.
We have local sponsors, and we are so thankful for them. But now we have our first corporate sponsor, Hard Rock Café. It’s really great, because they aren’t just sponsoring this event, or any single event. They said they want to be with me for as long as I am doing this. A life time sponsor! They are providing t-shirts, and they are doing something really cool. They are giving me a pin! My very own pin that will be sold at Hard Rock Cafés and on-line and the proceeds will go to Help End All Litter. It’s being designed now.
My first cleanup event will be Saturday, February 27, here in the Keys. Kids will gather at the Lorelei in Islamorada on Saturday morning and local trolleys will transport us all to the different cleanup locations. Sheriff Rick Ramsey has volunteered to have deputies on every trolley so the kids will be safe. Ashley Lawrence from Animal Planet’s ‘Gator Boys’ will be here helping us out. I met her a few years ago. She’s very involved with the environment and in her community, and we’re happy to have her down here helping out. You can sign up on-line at www.HelpEndAllLitter.org, or email me at Izabella@helpendalllitter.org. All kids must have a signed form, because we will be filming and streaming the event. After the cleanup, the trolleys will bring everybody to Made To Order for an after party. They will be providing snacks and Sub Zero will provide ice cream. It will be fun.
When I’m not making videos, picking up litter or talking about picking up litter, I am involved in a lot of different things. I go to school, of course; I also have my Hospitality & Tourism Club, I’m active in Drama Club, and Culinary Club. I love cooking! I might even want to study to be a chef one day! But, my primary life-long mission is to motivate and inspire people to get involved in cleaning up litter all over the world, and making a difference for our future. You don’t have to wait for an organized event to clean up trash. Make it a habit to clean up litter every day, wherever you are. Just picking up one piece of trash every day will make a difference.
I hope to see a lot of people on Saturday morning, February 27. Be sure and go to our website for the sign up form at www.HelpEndAllLitter.org, and come help me clean up the Keys and start cleaning up the world!”