Twelve-year-old Nadia Sparkes took the initiative to do her part in saving the planet. She made it her mission to collect trash when she rides her bike going home from school, using the basket on her bike to hold what she had picked up along the 2-mile route.
Her effort was definitely noteworthy and should earn her praise, but sadly, a couple of students from Nadia’s school even used this against her; calling her names like ‘Trash Girl’. Other kids, on the other hand, told her to keep collecting litter because it is ‘her job’.
The bullying should have made the twelve-year-old cease what she’s doing for the environment, but instead, she became even more determined to continue what she has started.
“I’m doing something to protect the world they also live in. It’s everyone’s job. We are all responsible for keeping this world safe, instead of believing that it’s always someone else’s job,” Nadia said.
Her mother, Paula Sparkes also explained to her how she can turn this into something positive by changing how she looked at the situation.
“I told her she had two choices, she could either stop collecting rubbish, stop drawing their attention and hopefully they would leave her alone. Or she could own ‘trash girl,’ Nadia’s mom said.
The 12-year-old decided to follow her mom’s advise and own up to being ‘trash girl’ in a constructive way.
“I’m not going to stop doing the right thing because of them, and if they are going to call me trash girl, they can say it with respect,” Nadia said.
Paula is proud that her daughter chose to do the right thing despite what she is experiencing.
“As a family, we are extremely proud of Nadia, not only for standing up to bullies but also for standing up for what she believes is right,” she said.