These individuals embody the Rustic spirit and are making a positive impact near and far. Check out their stories below.
Kasha Sequoia Slavner | Toronto, Ontario, Canada
At 16 Kasha set out on a journey to collect impactful stories from changemakers around the world. She released an award-winning documentary highlighting individuals and grassroots organizations finding creative solutions to global issues. Kasha aims to educate young people, inspire them and equip them with the tools to take action in their own communities.
Ayaan Shankta | Powai, Mumbai, India
13-year-old Ayaan Shankta lives in Powai, Mumbai, India. After seeing the Powai Lake near his become filled with garbage and sewage, he launched the ‘save the lake.’ initiative to bring the lake back to its original pristine condition. Ayaan has done incredible work in the area and has been recognized by various stakeholders for his detailed studies.
Bye Bye Plastic Bags | Global, 50+ Countries
Bye Bye Plastic Bags is a global youth-powered movement to say NO to plastic bags. Sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen advocacy and petitioning for six years was crucial in Bali’s government decision to place a ban on all single-use plastics in 2018. Now Bye Bye Plastic Bags has a global presence with teams in over 50 countries advocating against single-use plastic.
Karson Baldwin | Cleveland, Ohio
When he was a sophomore in high school, Karson Baldwin founded Onè Respè, a buddy program that pairs teenagers at local Cleveland schools with students from the International Newcomers Academy. The program aims to cultivate honor and respect, support language acquisition and foster social connections between American-born teens and immigrant and refugee youth.
Luis Alberto May Cua | Hunucmá, Yucatan, Mexico
16-year-old Luis Alberto May Cua is the president and founder of Encuentro Ambiental Yucatán. The organization promotes the right to a healthy environment and works to encourage sustainability in Yucatán State. In addition to regular clean-ups, Encuentro Ambiental offers educational experiences that help students develop their own ways to raise awareness for the environment.
Arul Mathur | Danville, California
California high school student Arul Mathur invented a device that automatically puts out fires. “F.A.C.E.,” or the Fire Activated Canister Extinguisher is a heat-activated fire suppression device that can protect a home even when no one is there. Any profits Arul makes will be used to help donate F.A.C.E. devices to fire-prone areas which need them the most.
Cherry Sung | Seoul, South Korea
14-year-old Cherry Sung founded Greener is Cleaner in 2019 to show youth they can get involved in the fight for climate justice and make a difference. Based in Seoul, South Korea, the youth-led organization focuses on where they can make positive environmental change through the economic market, public policies, and citizen action.
Rylee Brooke Kamahele | Mililani, Hawaii
In 2016, Rylee Brooke Kamahele was eight years old when she found it was hard for kids to find volunteer opportunities. In response, she founded her first organization to help other kids turn their passions into action. Now the high school freshman is continuing to make an impact through many different projects and by inspiring youth in Hawaii and helping them become changemakers themselves.
Celtic Reptile & Amphibian | Staffordshire, England
Jacqueline Means | Wilmington, Delaware
At 12 years old Jacqueline Means founded the Wilmington Urban STEM Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing STEM to underprivileged girls. The now 18-year-old hosts multiple Girls Empowerment STEM Events throughout the year where she is on a mission to show young girls that they can grow up to be whatever they want to be.
Gaurav Tyagi | Palo Alto, California
Ivanna Ortega Serret | Atizapán De Zaragoza, Mexico
When 12-year-old Ivanna Ortega Serret saw invasive lilies taking over and the wildlife dying in Madín Dam she took action. Ivanna created a petition on and gathered the required signatures in just two weeks. She successfully organized a clean up of the dam and now she’s working to stop the sewage discharges into the dam.
Yusuf Munna | Dhaka, Bangladesh
Lana Nguyen and Susanna Lau | Bay Area, California
Green Garden Bakery | Heritage Park, Minneapolis
Nihar Duvvuri | San Francisco, California
Hope Hearted | San Jose, California
Sofia Molina | San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Sofia Molina was seven years old when she decided she wanted to work to build a better world and create an environmental platform for youth. She is the founder, CEO and President of the Board of Directors of Cococu. Sofia works to give children a voice, demanding that we improve our environment and quality of life not only today, but for future generations. Through Cococu, she has organized many projects that focus on Sustainable Development and environmental conservation.