Updated: May 29
Will Charouhis is a seventeen-year-old environmental changemaker from Miami, Florida. Aiming to exert whatever influence he can on the climate crisis, he serves as a National Youth Leader in Dr. Jane Goodall’s Institute, the FXB Climate Champion, the youth delegate for National Wildlife Federation and America is All In.
In 2019, after experiencing the effects of climate change firsthand when Hurricane Irma flooded Miami, Will founded Forces of Nature, leading the youngest organization accredited by the United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in his aim to halt climate change.
A published author on the climate emergency, Will publishes a blog on youth facing the climate emergency, and is a contributing author to The Invading Sea. It is Will’s honor to serve as a recurrent panelist with environmental icon Dr. Jane Goodall on the strength of youth and the power of hope.
An unexpected advocate with a quiet but determined voice, Will is already leading on a global stage, sharing the GenZ perspective as the youngest American at COP25 in Madrid and COP26 in Glasgow, and as a US Climate Action Hub youth representative. Will has submitted testimony to America’s White House Environmental Justice Council, and was widely published for his work in having Miami declare a climate emergency.
A firm believer that “innovation, scale, and the human spirit can solve the climate crisis,” Will is pioneering funded research on the artificial selection of mangroves to withstand ocean acidification and warming at the A Million Mangroves lab at Miami’s Aquarium Educational Center. Scaling up his A Million Mangroves Initiative, Will has already drawn in partners in Australia, Gabon, the Dominican Republic, and Fiji, sharing his mangrove research in the hopes of increasing restoration efforts in other coastal communities around the world.
A relentless voice that it is time for his generation to act, Will’s organization has provided disaster relief to 1100 families in Honduras, Haiti, and the Bahamas, countries Will says “are least responsible for carbon emissions but most affected by climate change.” As a Director of the Miami Youth Climate Leadership Board, he works alongside other youth leaders to provide climate education to more than 2500 students in 16 countries.
In recognition of his tireless efforts in service to his community, Will was awarded the Congressional Award Gold Medal with STEM recognition, the highest honor the United States Congress bestows upon youth civilians. He also received the Barron Environmental Prize for his mangrove conservation work and was recognized as a Young Social Impact Hero. His work is currently being featured in mini-documentaries in production by Inspiring Young Heros and Blue Missions.
While he is honored by the awards, Will’s focus remains acutely forward and solution-based. Will believes it is past time for his generation to act. He is already showing up-every day-leading his peers, and even the adults in our community, in creating a sustainable world.
Will can be reached at:
In the future, Charouhis will promote students to join a global network of youth environmental advocates. By furthering the FXB Climate Advocates program, he will help students become equipped with new knowledge, adaptability, and qualities of a changemaker to further their communities.