Teen aims to bring more air quality monitors to Southwest Fresno with 'Clean Air Experiment'

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Kieshaun White is all smiles when it comes to PMs and his pet project.

"We're looking at a purple air monitor that was the first of many to be placed at a high school," he said.

The 18-year-old is on top of the world, or at least on top of Edison High School, because of his Cleaner Air Experiment.

He's testing air quality all over the city, and he specifically picked the school as his starting point.

"Edison is pretty much in the heart of the southwest area, and the southwest area is pretty much one of the areas that is saturated with the most pollution," Kieshaun said.

Kieshaun suffered from asthma by the age of 11 and learned about lower life spans in the southern parts of Fresno.

He figured poor air quality might play a role, and he knew it well because he lived it every day.

"I was born in Fresno, California and I grew up if you want to look that way, not too far off the field in apartments called King of Kings," he said.

But he noticed all the air quality monitors seemed to be on the north side of town.

So he launched his project to get monitors on as many schools as possible.

The Youth Leadership Institute and Boys and Men of Color helped him find grant money to do it. Now the monitors are spreading quickly, and he even got to meet former President Obama.

Kieshaun says an app is coming next month, so people can instantly know their PMs -- the potentially dangerous particulate matter in their air.

If it's high, they might have to take issue with nearby industrial plants.

"Knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are to go into the battlefield and pretty much going into a fight that you believe is right for you," he said.

Kieshaun graduates from high school soon and his next step is expanding the Cleaner Air Experiment into other cities like Stockton.

He can't erase the effects on his lungs, but he's hoping his hard work gives the next generation a better chance to breathe.
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