Flint Hill Student Is Awarded Youngest Citizen of The Month

Flint Hill Student Is Awarded Youngest Citizen of The Month

By Abi Baker , Editor In Chief

What makes this Flint Hill first-grader Cyan McLaurin so unique? Going above and beyond is not uncommon among Flint Hill’s students. Neither is being a conscious and sustainable member of the community. What makes McLaurin stand out is her accomplishments of all of the above. 

Like many other first-graders Cyan enjoys playing with her friends, creating art, and spending time outside. Cyan is also mature in her understanding of bigger problems outside of the classroom. Her interest in environmental protection stemmed from noticing trash and various other types of garbage on hikes with her family. Through her parents and her lessons in school, Cyan was taught about the importance of sustainability and the causes contributing to climate change. Now, she was seeing it firsthand. Cyan wanted to teach others about the positive effects of recycling, and persuade others not to litter. 

Self-initiated, Cyan created signs and posters, discouraging others from littering, and hung them throughout her neighborhood. The motivation didn’t just stop there. Now, when she went on walks and hikes, Cyan and her family bring trash bags and gloves to pick up the litter they find. 

Jennifer Webb, Cyan’s mother notes, “Once she saw a lot of trash on the ground while we were at a farmer’s market but we didn’t have bags. She asked me every single day to take her back there until I did.” 

As Cyan became more observant, she one day asked her parents why they use cloth bags to buy their groceries. This conversation is what led Cyan to petition against plastic bag usage. Conveniently also during this time, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors was hearing testimony from residents regarding the new plastic bag fee being instated. Cyan wanted to share her thoughts with the committee, so sent in her own testimony via a video. The video gauged such a positive response among the committee that Supervisor James R. Walkinshaw, Braddock District, reached out to Cyan to congratulate her work thus far. After the committee learned more about Cyan’s efforts, they awarded her Citizen of the Month, the youngest so far. 

Now, Cyan is continuing to share her love for environmental protection with her friends and Girl Scout troop. Recently Cyan took her troop to clean up a local park in Fairfax to achieve a new badge for the group. Supervisor Walkinshaw also joined to talk to the troop about the impact of their efforts on the broader community and the planet. 

Cyan plans to continue these efforts and expand them to the Flint Hill community because she believes, “The earth is our home and if we don’t take care of it, we will be in danger.”