Olivia Stegall

Butler, Tenn.

Since she was four years old, Olivia Stegall has been working to end mountaintop removal coal mining. Her first foray into advocacy was in 2006, when she traveled with her mother to Washington, D.C., to lobby members of Congress to end the practice.

Now almost 10, Olivia has talked personally with dozens of senators and House representatives about the issue (pictured at left with Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker in 2010), and one time even accompanied Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) to watch the House vote on a bill. “When I was really little, I didn’t think about where I was, I just asked (them to support the Clean Water Protection Act). But when I got older, I was realizing what I was doing, and just how important it was.”

Besides being the youngest volunteer at Appalachian Voices, Olivia is also a regular volunteer at her local humane society and a Cadet in the Girl Scouts.

“When I turned six, I really just wanted to make a change in the world,” Olivia says, “because not everyone has a good environment and it would be nice if everyone had that.” — By Jamie Goodman


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