SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Most seventh graders are focused on after school sports, friends and extracurriculars, but Joey Gouthiere, a Youree Drive Middle School student, is set on saving the planet.
"It's so important, it's better to have a clean earth," said Gouthiere.
For just about five years, Gouthiere, alongside his committed family, has led a trash pick-up across Shreveport-Bossier, aptly named Geaux Green Day.
Gouthiere's efforts have even inspired friends and family in Okinawa, Japan, and New York City to take a few hours out of their day to make Planet Earth just a bit cleaner.
"Sometimes I see litter right next to a trash can and I think, 'why can't you just throw it in the trash can?'" said Gouthiere. "I know someday people will realize that littering is not a good thing, it's just not."
Amanda Gouthiere, Joey's mother, said her son's dedication to keeping the environment clean is proof age doesn't defy one's ability to leave a lasting impact on the community.
"I think as adults we need to recognize kids can do amazing things no matter how young they are," said Amanda. "We need to encourage, empower and equip our children to know they can make a difference."
Amanda said Joey's passion, motivation and dedication to keeping Shreveport clean is driven by community support.
"That's what he wants is people doing something for the Earth today, no matter what it is," said Amanda. "It doesn't have to be with him specifically, it can be anywhere in the world."
For Gouthiere, Shreveport is home and wants the community to take responsibility for treating it with respect and dignity.
"This is where we live and we need to take responsibility for it and keep it clean," said Gouthiere. "It doesn't matter how old you are, you could literally be seven like I was when I started this and you can still make a difference in your community."
Click here for more information on Geaux Green and how you can take part in the clean up next year.