LEXINGTON, Va. -

The Washington and Lee campus welcomed Dr. Jane Goodall to its campus Thursday evening.

She spoke to a sold out crowd about her mission to show people that they can change the world for the better.

The wildlife expert and the world's expert on chimpanzees spent most of her life in remote parts of Africa. Today, she focuses much of her time working with young people and spreading an important message.

"We all share the same mission which is simply to make the world a better place."

Dr. Jane Goodall has held that sentiment for decades. Now, close to 80, the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees wants to make sure it stays alive.

"I've been lecturing talking about the bad things were doing to the planet since 1986 it's just trying to raise awareness trying to change attitudes before it's absolutely too late," Goodall told Your Hometown News Leader.

That's a mission she spreads with the help of the institute that bares her name. When she's not doing field work, The Jane Goodall Institute and the young people it touches are top priorities.

"My goal is to continue growing our youth program roots and shoots. It's in 135 countries now and growing all the time with young people from preschool through university."

The Washington and Lee students who made her visit possible were exposed, first hand, to Goodall's commitment to changing the world.

"Lexington is obviously a very small town and so part of our mission is to expose our student body in a small setting to figures like Dr. Goodall," said Caroline Morgan, a Washington and Lee student.

Goodall had these words of wisdom for them.

"Keep your ears open something will grab you and arouse your passion, follow that. We need money to live, but it goes wrong when we live for money."

But it's maybe her parting words that made the most impact.

"We make an impact on the planet and we have a choice as to what impact we make."

The Jane Goodall Institute was founded in 1977. It has 19 offices around the world dedicated to conservation, wild life protection and research.

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