Eco Here finalist Marina Cepeda
Palm Springs Middle School
Most teens dread speaking in front of the class, but not 13-year-old Marina Cepeda.
Marina takes her Power Point presentation on recycling to any class at any time. She was hooked on saving the environment from the first day she joined her school's Earth Club.
Read: Marina's Nomination
"You can do one thing and it accumulates and becomes a big thing," she said. "That's when I realized I wanted to be an activist. I wanted to promote recycling and promote saving our earth against global warming."
Today, marina is the president of the Earth Club and a member of her school's broadcasting team. This year, Marina created a school-wide conservation campaign with daily public service announcements and recycling tips.
She is also reaching out to area departments stores, asking them to provide recycling bins for hangers and paper. She is passionate about saving the planet.
"Small things can make a big difference," she said. "It can make a bad difference or a good difference. I am trying to lean toward the good difference."
That good difference will remain at Palm Springs Middle School long after Marina heads off to high school. The school's eco-friendly garden is one of her pet projects.
"A lot of companies donated tires. We use them to make a frame, because we are growing pumpkins and don't want the pumpkins to go everywhere," she said.
Amazingly, this charismatic 8th grader says a trip to Machu Picchu is on her bucket list.
"On it I did put to go out of the country and to have a third-world experience ... to describe the indescribable."