“I am a strong advocate of youth leadership and the protection of our environment, thus We Are Nature was created,” Junior Nadia Sultan said.
In early August, Sultan officially founded her own non-profit organization, We Are Nature, along with juniors Mauricio Novoa, Isabella Castillo, and Maria Daniel from New World School of the Arts, Young Woman’s Prepatory Academy, and Coral Reef Senior High School, respectively.
We Are Nature, or WAN, aims to raise money for different marine-related environmental protection programs through bake sales and jewelry sales, along with organizing beach cleanups. Sultan thought of starting the organization while volunteering with another volunteer program, “Hands on Miami.”
“One of their volunteering opportunities was a beach cleanup. At one of the cleanups, I met Danielle Wiebe, an oceanographer who shared her experiences with pollution in the ocean with me,” Sultan said. “It really initiated my interest in protecting the environment.”
At a recent beach cleanup this month, WAN recruited a total of 85 volunteers, a staggering difference from the 15 volunteers at its first cleanup. They collected about 700 pounds of trash that day.
“To create a greater impact, we would like to spread to as many places as possible across the United States,” Sultan said. “Wiebe, from Malibu, California, has expanded WAN to her community and we are very excited about it.”
“My favorite part about working in this field is that this issue [ocean pollution] affects everyone worldwide, and it is an amazing feeling knowing that I am helping to end it,” Sultan said. “I am very passionate about WAN and I would love to work every day of my life for the ocean.”