Forces of Nature is an unstoppable youth-led movement founded by Will Charouhis at age 13. Growing up in South Florida, he spends his spare time free diving in the Bahamas or rowing crew in the waters of Biscayne Bay, but in the last few years increasing intense hurricanes have caused his beloved ocean to flood his own backyard.
Will met with local and national leaders who supported the youth-led call for urgent climate action. But time and again, the leaders he met with were then voted out of office. Frustrated, he decided to take his convictions straight to the top.
On April 8, 2019 founder Will Charouhis took his mission to the United Nations’ headquarters in New York, to plea with leaders for a better deal than the one handed down at COP24. At the ECOSOC Youth Forum for Sustainable Goals, he met with Maria Fernanda Espinosa, then President of the United Nations General Assembly, to share his generation’s concerns. In her address to Will and the other youth at The Institute of Peace, she stated: “Young people must be involved in the decision-making.” She denounced the fact that: “Youth perspectives are still viewed by some as something nice to have, rather than integral to the discussion.”
Youth-led organizations around the world began taking off, but the United States was slow to respond. Slowly organizations in the North began forming, yet in Miami, Florida, ground zero for sea-levels rising in America, action could not come fast enough for Will. “We are out of time,” Will told a reporter for Miami Beach Community News. He created this platform to ensure that young voices of the South are not only centered on climate conversation, but that elected officials will listen. And act. Lily Paden, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), witnessed the destruction of her neighborhood in the California fires last year and co-founded Forces of Nature.
Young activists from diverse backgrounds across the country have joined Forces of Nature.
More Americans are coming around to our side. Unfortunately, time is not. Don't let it cost the world to save our planet. We've all just got to do something. --Founder of Forces of Nature, Will Charouhis
Help write the next chapter of our story; our future.