As his final year in university approaches, Charles Orgbon III will face a great adventure at a young age. Charles will go to the North Pole this September to join a research team that conducts research on climate change. Charles has held a passion for working on environmental causes for many years, and he considers this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While there, the team will be investigating changes in the latitude of the Artic tree line – an indicator of a warming trend across our planet.
This trip is just one part of Charles’ work around climate change and the environment. His passion for environmental issues arose when he was in the 5th grade in 2008 as the result of a school service project. What started as a requirement evolved into a calling, and the founding of an environmental organization called Greening Forward.
Greening Forward is now one of the largest entirely youth driven non-profit organizations. Working with a small, yet skilled and committed, number of young people, the organization is driving fiercely forward, and continuing to inspire their peers around the world – connecting annually with around 2,000 young people from around the world.
Together with Greening Forward, Charles works on environmental issues such as sustainable agriculture, transportation, plastic waste management and environmental justice. He works with communities of color, and marginalized communities, and helps the young people in those communities connect to their ability to be agents of change.
Each year, Greening Forward hosts an annual conference, “The International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit”. Focusing on questions like “how can you make a difference about plastic pollution?” or “how we can get our government to take action providing decent public transportation?”, the conference encourages students to connect to the issues, think creatively, and come up with creative solutions instead of being told what they should do.
In his spare time (!), Charles is trying to master the Spanish language and develop his photographic talent. Unsurprisingly, he loves capturing images of nature. With his camera in one hand, and his research notebook in the other, Charles cannot wait to travel to Churchill, Canada (the “Polar Bear Capital of the World” – although he doubts that he would find a mayor bear there) to explore the Arctic with other researchers, and to capture the unique and stunning scenery.