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By Beth Doane and Kelly Gibbons, Features Editors

CREDITGene Flipse_Whaleman FoundationHayden Panettiere is an American actress, model, singer, and activist. Born and raised in New York, she first appeared in commercials at the young age of 11 months. As Hayden’s career continued to grow, becoming a household name for her role of Claire in the 2006 hit show, Heroes, she decided to use her influence for good, inspiring thousands of people worldwide to join the causes closest to her heart. “Being in the public has its upsides and downsides. One of the upsides is that it provides us with a platform to spread the word about the issues we’re passionate about solving. I believe that it’s our responsibility to give back to the world and generate positive change,” said Panettiere. Her dedication has taken her all the way to Japan to disrupt annual dolphin hunts, and to Alaska to advocate for aboriginal rights. “Being a mother now gives me even more reason to fight for the environment. I want to set a good example for my daughter and make sure our planet is taken care of so future generations can enjoy its beauty. Generally I feel that people don’t care about an issue until it’s knocking on their front door and by then it’s sometimes too late. I wish everyone would do their part and understand that even simple actions can make a big difference!”

Hayden@DC Rally

PHOTO CREDIT:Gene Flipse, Whaleman Foundation