Three years ago -- while still in middle school -- Charles Orgbon III founded an environmental advocacy group called Greening Forward.
“In 2008, I noticed my school’s littering problem and started the first Earth Savers Club to help address that issue,” said Charles, now 15 and a sophomore at Mill Creek High School. “Then I wanted to show other young people how they could create similar Earth Savers Clubs in their communities as well.”
Now, Greening Forward sponsors a network of youth-led Earth Savers Clubs both nationally and internationally.
“Greening Forward gives them the resources and tools they need to go out in their community and make a difference,” Charles said.
Charles’ organization encourages civic engagement and environmental education while providing a support network and limited financial resources.
Since its inception in 2008, Greening Forward and its hundreds of youth participants have undertaken numerous environmental projects across the country. In Dacula, Charles has and last month organized a that included picking up litter in downtown Dacula and planting a tree at the .
His efforts have not gone unnoticed. Earlier this year, California based “Action for Nature” selected Charles as the for his efforts to address environmental issues. He was also named to the and was honored with the distinguished finalist bronze medallion for his work with Greening Forward.
Though he has accomplished a great deal, Charles has even loftier goals for the future. This year, he is spearheading an effort to raise $90,000 to support the mission of Greening Forward.
“If we get that, the we’ll be able to help support our network better,” Charles said.
Charles' father, Charles Orgbon II, has no doubt about his son’s ability to reach that goal.
“About five years ago, he said he was all into saving the world, saving the environment, and then he just took off with it,” Orgbon said.
Orgbon describes his son as very self-motivated and driven to succeed.
“He just exhibits those qualities that any parent would want to have in their child,” Orgbon said.
Charles remains modest about his successes to date and hopes he will soon be able to do more to protect the environment.
“I’ve done what I can with the resources that I have,” he said. “I’m very excited about what’s to come in the future.”
To learn more about Greening Forward or to make a donation to fund the organization's environmental initiatives, visit the Greening Forward website.