NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many younger students were involved in Friday’s rallies to address climate change, particularly those who have lived through and survived hurricane devastation.
Seeing the effects of climate change can have an impact on anyone, but actually experiencing and surviving a hurricane can change you.
CBSN New York’s Nina Kapur spoke to one of those individuals, 13-year-old Marisol Rivera, at Friday’s strike.
Rivera’s old home in Brooklyn was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy when she was only 6 years old, and her family in Puerto Rico lost everything after Maria.
Since then, she’s made it a mission to fight for the issue closest to her heart.
Rivera, like many other students, skipped school Friday, but she spent her morning with dozens of members of the Puerto Rican community. They chanted, joined together and shared stories of tragedy.
PHOTO GALLERY: Students Around The World March To Address Climate Change
The community mourned the thousands of lives lost due to Hurricane Maria and listened to Rivera’s story. She and her mom were living in Bed-Stuy at the time of Superstorm Sandy, an area they say was not designated as a red zone — that is until Rivera’s roof collapsed and landed on her bed, almost on her.
“It was traumatizing for me, and to this day, I still would get flashbacks about it. So for that to happen and for Maria to have happened to my land, to the land of my heritage, Puerto Rico, it’s hard to see it happen to people that I care about, to my family,” Rivera said.
Rivera is sharing her story in hopes of creating change and eventually to prevent something like this from ever happening again.