Boyle Heights roadside is cleaner after teen adopts a highway

Seventeen-year-old Jimmy Rodriguez wanted to give back to his community. So, he decided to volunteer to clean a freeway roadside near his home-- becoming the youngest person in the Los Angeles area to participate in Caltrans' Adopt-A-Highway program.

Rodriguez is now the proud adopter of an eastbound stretch of the I-10 Freeway between State Street and Eastern Avenue that is close to his Boyle Heights home.

“My goal is to make my portion of the freeway completely clean and keep it that way," said Rodriguez. "I also want to plant beautiful plants and flowers so that when people drive by and see how clean it is, they’ll feel that my neighborhood is clean and beautiful too."

The recent Wilson High School grad does the cleaning on the weekends, twice a month. Bright and early at 7 a.m., he’ll start picking up litter, like aluminum cans and plastic bags, with other volunteers. He started the endeavor with best friend Cristian Marroquin.

“We would finish by 11 a.m. to avoid the intense sun and heat,” said Rodriguez. “I had to convince my family I was serious about it and it wasn’t as dangerous as they thought it would be.”

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