#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Justin Vilaysouk

#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Justin Vilaysouk

The #BecauseOfYouth Spotlight series highlights young environmentalists in MCE’s service area who are leading the fight against climate change.

Justin Vilaysouk (he/him) is a youth climate leader for the City of Richmond, where he actively contributes to a cleaner future as part of Earth Team. Justin and his team enhance the city’s environmental health through organized cleanups and promote the organization by channeling their inspiration into the community. Inspired by his experiences, he believes in the necessity of nationwide littering laws and encourages the development of community gardens as one way to unite neighborhoods. As high school ends, Justin remains dedicated to creating a cleaner, greener future for all.

What type of projects or initiatives have you worked on in your community?

The initiatives I have worked on in my community are daily trash cleanup in my school area, as well as, in Richmond and clean up activities across Contra Costa with other environmental organizations. I also help spread awareness about our cleanups in my school via flyers.

Why did you decide to join your organization/club and begin working on community engagement efforts?

I decided to join Earth Team because a friend was in it and recommended it as an opportunity to engage in the natural environment; learn about the value, history, and issues of nature in general; and understand how we can make an impact and make a greener planet. I began working on community engagement efforts the exact moment I joined Earth Team. All the things that Earth Team stands for inspired me to give back to my community by improving our environment.

What are some ideas you have to make our world greener and cleaner?

I’d like to create stricter littering laws with harsher punishments in every city in the country to reduce the amount of littering. I’d also like to create community gardens to educate and unite communities where they bond with each other by planting and growing all types of plants.

What is your favorite memory at your organization/club?

My favorite memory on Earth Team was at my first clean up. I got my picture taken with my friend. Since it’s our senior year, that moment felt meaningful and I’ll look back on that photo with a smile.

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