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Asthon, Nalleli and Luis are some of the young Latinos who are making changes in the country. Photo: Collage photos Instagram
Asthon, Nalleli and Luis are some of the young Latinos who are making changes across the country. Photo: Collage from Instagram

Young Latinos bringing change to the U.S. as we know it

These are some of the young people under the age of 20 who are working for the causes they consider fair.

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The Latino community is characterized by its strength, resilience, humility, hardworking nature and fairness causes that move their hearts. 
 
The changes that occur among Latinos living in the United States are often not due to adults, but the young people who seek to create a better future for themselves and the next generations. 
 
These are some of the young people under 20 who are working for the causes they've inspired many to fight for: 
Nalleli Cobo 
Since she was nine years old, this young Californian, of Colombian-Mexican origin, began her fight for the environment. It all started because Cobo suffered from asthma, nosebleeds and severe headaches due to an oil field located in front of her home in South Los Angeles.
 
Together with her mother, the little girl started a movement that led to the closure of the facility, which was also causing illness to her neighbors, who were mostly Latino and African-American. 
 
"I am fortunate to have found my passion earlier than many people. My passion is to defend the environment and people's health," Cobo has said. 
 
Today, she has been compared to Greta Thunberg, although her name has been recognized locally for more than a decade.

Ashton Mota 

Mota is a Black Dominican-American teenager who at 16 is already a seasoned activist from Lowell, Massachusetts, speaking out publicly about being transgender and advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. 
 
At age 12, he came out to his parents.
 
"My mentality as a 12-year-old was, 'Oh, if I come out on my birthday, there's no way my parents are going to be mad," Mota said in an interview with TransFamilies.
 
After his confession, he created a Gay Straight Alliance at his high school, became an ambassador for the Human Rights Campaign Youth Foundation, and gave the keynote speech at GLSEN's fall conference at age 14. 
 
Today, Mota travels the country giving speeches and advocating for trans youth.
 
"Unfortunately, there are still young people across the country who have not found their family, let alone their voice," he told HRC last year. "I consider myself a change agent, and I have learned that change does not come easily or overnight. Instead, we must actively work to make the world a better and safer place for the most vulnerable."

Luis Hernandez 

Hernandez is a young man of Dominican descent, who at 19 years old, has dedicated himself to developing his role as an anti-gun activist in the country. 
 
He was born in the Bronx, New York and as a child, grew up hearing gunshots as if they were something normal.
 
"What happens is that because many young people feel helpless, they get guns to survive. But the underlying problem is that gun violence happens because there is poverty, because there is segregation in schools," he said in an interview with the BBC last year.
 
At the age of 14, he began his activism after his brother was wrongfully imprisoned. He was eventually released without charge.
 
“I see a permanent criminalization of young people in my community and I am convinced that criminalization, police brutality, armed violence, are systemic,” said Hernandez.
 
“It is not that one morning someone wakes up and decides to kill another person simply because he thought of doing it. In this country it is very easy to get a gun, anyone can do it. All you need is your driver's license”, said Hernandez. “We have to fight for gun control, we have to change the laws and mobilize so that innocent people don't continue to die”.
 
As co-founder and executive director of Youth Over Guns and director of youth campaigns at The Gathering for Justice he works to make things change. They have organized marches of hundreds of thousands of people and will continue to take to the streets.
 
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