Charles Orgbon III is an internationally recognized youth engagement expert, environmental activist, and diversity and inclusion strategist.
In 2008, when Charles was only 12-years-old, he founded Greening Forward, which would become the largest youth-driven, youth-imagined environmental organization in the country. Today, Greening Forward has funded the efforts of over 2,000 students and 50 student environmental groups from across the United States, and has also convened four international conferences for young environmental leaders. The students that Charles and Greening Forward support go on to create campaigns that reduce waste, conserve resources, and rally for more sensible environmental legislation. To date, he has given over 100 speeches on these topics and received over 31 local, national, and international awards.
Leveraging his varied non-profit leadership experience, Charles often blogs for the Huffington Post, and partners with agencies to offer consulting services. His past consulting clients have included numerous international environmental NGOs, federal agencies, philanthropists, school districts, environmental justice campaigns, and media corporations.
Charles makes appearances on CNN International and MSNBC, as well as in Essence, Black Entertainment, JET, Parade Magazine, USA Today, and in Laurie Thompson’s Be A Changemaker: How to Start Something that Matters. In fact, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis recognized Charles by dedicating a piece of the Power of Children permanent exhibit to his work.
While Charles reminds students that they have the potential to make a difference in their schools, communities, and eventually the world, he also shows adults how to ally with youth in substantive ways. Given that young people are more multicultural in the United States than any previous generation, Charles often underlines how meaningful engagement of young people can also address institutional diversity deficits.
Charles has crafted a winning blueprint for how youth and adults can work together to create a more sustainable, equitable world, while also building a dynamic career as a young entrepreneur.
For fun, Charles is a trained photographer, guitarist, ESOL instructor, and enjoys maintaining his Spanish proficiency with friends.
To read more about Charles’s Pollination Project Grant, click here.