Fresno teen determined to promote clean air finds air quality monitors vandalized

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- What started as a science project is now Keishaun White's mission for better air quality and education in Fresno.

The 18-year-old started Healthy Fresno Air late last year after reading a report about shorter life expectancies in areas of Fresno with poor air quality.

"There was a life expectancy of 30 years between two cities," he said.

Since then, White's project has grown. He received grants to put more than a dozen air quality monitors throughout the city.

White has asthma, and he says the monitors are a life-saver.

"It keeps me aware of how much stress I can put on my body at the time," said White's mentor, Marcel Woodruff. "It also expresses what is going on such as the particulate matter and the smog in the air."

White says he and Woodruff recently released an app that allows users to see the monitor's readings in real time, and determine if the air is safe enough for people with sensitivities.

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Their goal is to install more than 100 of the monitors throughout Fresno, but his plan is now on hold after six monitors were vandalized.

"We kept expanding, we kept getting calls from people saying this monitor is down, it's not working," Woodruff said. "We realized when it was yanked out; the power adapter was damaged."

Woodruff, says they didn't report it to police but paid more than $700 out of pocket to replace the monitors.

He says they're hoping to avoid the problem in the future by having someone check the monitors regularly.

While it's a setback, their goal remains to put a monitor in every square mile of the city.

"I can't take it too (personally), but it's how we're going to move forward from it," White said.
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