7th-grader skips school, sits outside U.N. to combat climate change

Posted at 10:51 AM, Feb 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-23 10:51:44-05

NEW YORK - A New York City seventh-grader is taking world leaders to task, going on strike from school to demand action on climate change, according to WPIX.

With her signs by her side, 13-year-old Alexandria Villasenor has set up shop at a bench outside the United Nations headquarters for the last 10 Fridays.

"Climate change will affect my generation the most, it’s as simple as that," Villasenor said.

The seventh grader, who has skipped Friday classes since December, said she’s tired of waiting for world leaders to act on climate change.

"They don’t think about their children, how their children or nieces or nephews will be affected," she said, referring to world leaders she said aren't doing enough. "They’re thinking about themselves."

Villasenor is leading the charge not only in New York City but across the country, mobilizing teens to strike for climate. It’s a student movement that’s already begun overseas.

Villasenor said she was inspired by 15-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden. Thunberg launched a similar protest campaign last year. In December, she was invited to a global conference where she delivered a scathing speech to world leaders.

"You say you love your children above all else, and yet you were stealing their future in front of their very eyes," Thunberg said to a stunned audience.

Whether it be wind, rain or a polar vortex, Villasenor will be reporting outside the UN for the next few Fridays. Her plan leads up to a global event next month.

On March 15, hundreds of thousands of students from across the United States and over 40 countries will strike in solidarity for the “Youth Climate Strike.”

The students will be joined by the world’s largest environmental groups.

With experts warning that the planet has until 2030 before catastrophic climate change becomes inevitable, the “thoughts and prayers” politicians usually peddle will no longer be enough for people like Villasenor.

"Without action, their day-to-day lives won’t be how they are now, and they need to start striking," Villasenor said.