9-year-old Brianna Johnson works to change the world
Santa Paula News
Published: November 14, 2012
Brianna Johnson of Santa Paula is just 9, but she already knows she can make a difference in the world. She started in her hometown, recruiting family and friends to clean up trash along Palm Avenue on a recent Saturday.
It all started when Brianna saw “Jessie” actress Debbie Ryan on a Disney Friends for Change commercial talking about how she volunteers to build schools in India. “Debbie Ryan said any little thing you do can help the Earth,” Brianna said.
“I said, ‘I want to try that,’ so I talked to my mom about it. She asked me what my first activity would be. I said I wanted to pick up all the trash on Palm because I drive by it every day and want to clean it up.”
Brianna called her cousin Selina Escoto of Fillmore to ask for help making fliers. They decided to have dinner and think of ways they could help the Earth and get others to pitch in. They designed a flier and Brianna handed it to her schoolmates with the date, place and time to meet. _”I was thinking, ‘I’m pretty busy, but it’s worth a try,’” said Keianna Jasso, 10, of Santa Paula. “I thought it was pretty cool, so I told Brianna, ‘Count me in on it.’”
Joining Brianna on a Saturday afternoon with gloves and trash bags were Brianna’s parents, Rebecca Johnson, Brian Johnson, Brianna’s 9-year-old niece, Sage Johnson, and friends Keianna and Natalie Rainwater, 9.
After they were done, “We felt proud of ourselves,” Brianna said. “I enjoyed being with my friends. We picked up five bags of trash and a policeman honked and waved.” Brianna praised her mom for working so hard, picking up two bags of trash all by herself.
Brianna’s mom is proud of her daughter. “She really has a kind heart and wants to help people,” she said.
Inspired by Disney Friends for Change and the success of her first volunteer event, Brianna is already planning her next volunteer activity to be a cancer walk. “I felt really bad when my mom had cancer,” she said. “I thought how many people need help and maybe I can help them.”
Disney Friends for Change Web site is http://disney.go.com/projectgreen/, with its motto: “Helping people, communities and the planet.”