“I’ve learned some very good leadership skills,” Xavier Cervantes, TreePeople Volunteer

In many ways, Xavier Cervantes is your typical 14-year-old.  He’s a freshman in high school, he loves to go camping, and if he could spend a day in the life of any famous person, it would be funny-man George Lopez.

But if you ask him for his thoughts on our current environmental crisis, he sounds downright philosophical: “Great things don’t happen overnight, but where we begin to plant seeds, trees will grow.”

His proudest moment with TreePeople was his very first tree planting.  It was a couple of years ago, while Xavier and a few others were planting a tree on a local street.  An elderly woman walked outside her house and requested that they dedicate the tree to a member of her family who had passed away.  Everyone formed a circle around the tree, joined hands, and held a moving dedication ceremony.  Xavier has since been back to the site and has seen that tree and others grow and flourish over time.  “It tells you a lot about the people that are taking care of them.  It says a lot about the workers.”

Recently, Xavier was appointed to the Alhambra City Youth Commission.  He hopes to eventually get more youth involved in environmental causes.  Even between his schoolwork and his work on the youth commission, Xavier still manages to find time for TreePeople.  Xavier reflects on his time with the organization, “It’s been a very good experience for me.  I’ve learned some very good leadership skills.  I’ve made a lot of new friends.”


Pictured above with Andy Lipkis, TreePeople’s Founder and President

By Murline Gelin

Murline Gelin is a writer with a penchant for environmental and sustainability causes. Ever since she was a child, the sight of a tree has filled her with awe and gratitude. She enjoys telling the stories of the passionate environmental stewards of TreePeople.