AVONDALE, Arizona (KTVK, KPHO) -- A 12-year-old Valley girl is making a difference in the world, one bracelet at a time. Mireille Rascon spends hours putting beads together one-by-one to make the bracelets with the help of her cousin and best friend, Azul Gomez.

“We sell them for $20 apiece,” said Mireille Rascon. The two are working to make a difference by donating 100% of the proceeds to a sea turtle foundation near and dear to Rascon’s heart. “I am passionate about animals, especially turtles,” said Rascon. “Why would you want to lose such a precious creature?”

On a trip to Veracruz, Mexico, Rascon became an ambassador for the Yepez Foundation, a 55-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting sea turtles. “It was originally a surprise to release turtles,” said Rascon. “Turtles — they really are [at] risk of extinction,” said Rascon. “Turtles confuse plastic with jellyfish,” Gomez added. “They end up eating the bag.”

After her visit to Veracruz, Rascon said that she had learned a lot and was very moved. “I told her, ‘you should write your experience, so you can share at the school or with your friends,’” said Rosalinda Montoya, Rascon’s mom. Rascon took her mom’s advice, even writing an essay about the importance of saving turtles for her school.

“She came to me with ideas of what we could do and how we could do it,” said Dr. Nicole Durazo, Estrella Vista STEM Academy Principal. Her passion sparked a movement within her school, inspiring leadership to launch a week-long fundraiser with all proceeds going to the foundation. “It is inspiring other students to get involved and be active in the community,” said Durazo.

With the help of students, family, and friends, Rascon has raised $3,000 so far for the foundation. If you’d like to buy one of Rascon’s bracelets, you can order them through her Instagram page at this link or by clicking below.

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