Young Leader's Award recipient Apurva Iyengar is a 20 year old environmental activist and changemaker based in Boston. She is focused on creating a more cohesive and effective youth climate strategy and broadening access to this movement for young people around the world through her non-profit Youth.ify. Apurva is currently a second-year student at Tufts University, pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Environmental Geology. In her spare time, she is a classically trained oil painter and is a member of Tufts’ premier semi-classical South Asian dance team, Tufts Pulse.
Apurva's Project: Youth.ify
A global platform designed to address the diasporic nature of the youth environmental movement by providing platforms for individual and organization-level collaboration, connection, and support.
We recently checked in with Apurva to learn more about her background and her plans for the conservation and regeneration of the planet.
Walking Softer: What brought you to your work in climate and environmental justice?
Apurva: It sounds simple, but trash is really what brought me to work in the climate space. As a high school student, I began thinking about just how much we throw away, which eventually led me to the realization that there was no 'away'. Nearly everything we produce, consume and then discard will be on this planet for a long time--often longer than we ourselves will be. As someone who hadn't even been on Earth for two decades, the concept of a styrofoam cup hanging around in a forest for two centuries was more permanent than I could handle, and galvanized me to begin looking for ways to get involved.
Walking Softer: What is a milestone on your climate action journey thus far?
Apurva: A big milestone for me and Youth.ify recently was our very first Soapbox Festival event this past summer. We brought together young people from over 20 different countries for a full day of virtual networking activities and workshops on practical tools for activism. Although we still have a lot we'd like to accomplish, it was extremely gratifying to see months of planning finally turn into a reality.
Walking Softer: What do you do for self-care and fun?
Apurva: I love listening to music, relaxing with my friends, and taking walks when the weather is nice in Boston! At Tufts, I'm a member of a competitive dance team, and in my spare time, I'm a classically trained oil painter and find painting very relaxing and rewarding. To me, self-care looks like taking time to both unwind and recharge, by cooking myself a comforting meal and watching a fun TV show.
Walking Softer: Any people or organizations that you would like to thank?
As we look ahead, we wish to express our gratitude for accompanying us on this journey. Your participation has played a pivotal role in fostering a healthier future for our planet.
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