As part of our Last Word series, Alexandra Collins gives La Ultima Palabra on getting past embarrassment
At just 17, Hinsdale Central High School senior Alexandra Collins is already an accomplished environmental activist.
She founded a nonprofit group, Students Against Ethylene Oxide, that fights to ban the emission of the carcinogenic gas ethylene oxide near schools and homes.
Her activism helped prompt the closure of a medical instrument sterilization company that for 30 years had emitted this ethylene oxide into the community’s air, creating elevated rates of cancer.
In honor of her work, Alexandra Collins was one of the recipients of the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, a national award that celebrates youth service leaders making change in their communities.