“It’s impossible to measure the lasting effects HOBY has had on my life. WLC taught me not only to believe in myself but believe in my generation as a whole. Standing up for what you believe in, and having the courage to follow through is one of the most honorable ways to live your life.” – Cory Nixon, HOBY North Carolina West, 2018
Inspired by their time at HOBY’s World Leadership Congress (WLC), Corina Argiry (HOBY North Carolina East, 2018), Chase Magnano (HOBY Florida North, 2018), Caroline Searchy (HOBY North Carolina East, 2018), Maia Taveras (HOBY Florida South, 2018), Dominic Hoefer (HOBY Florida Mid, 2017), David Tuohy (HOBY Florida Mid, 2018), Taryn Peterson (HOBY Florida North, 2017), Walker Wells (Florida North, 2018), Reagan Overton (HOBY Florida North, 2018), and Matthew Welch (HOBY WLC, 2018) created a youth-led initiative to raise awareness about environmental issues in the southeastern region of the United States. Their initiative, The Clean South, aims “to create a healthier world” and that “youth need to be informed in the fight for environmental awareness.”
This group of students met at WLC in July at Loyola University in Chicago. WLC enhances what alumni learned at the regional seminars. Developing more leadership skills alongside HOBY alumni from all over the world, the program inspires youth to make a positive impact on the world around them. Influenced by HOBY’s mission of volunteerism, leadership, and service, The Clean South was formed.
Nixon explains that “the Clean South was directly created because of WLC. After meeting a group of like-minded people from the Southeastern region of the United States, we immediately began work. The Clean South is a youth-led initiative to raise environmental awareness and reduce pollution, connecting issues to real people and locations in the United States. As a group, we believe the youth of our nation need to be more involved in the fight for environmental awareness. The Clean South has allowed me to become a more patient and cooperative leader within the group, but it has also expanded into my life as a whole. My favorite part of this experience is being able to introduce a potential solution for a preventable cause.”
With the skills that were developed during their time with HOBY, The Clean South tackles a lot of projects that involve the environment. They champion environmentally friendly products, such as reusable bags, water bottles, and bamboo toothbrushes. Their most recent campaign involved a petition on banning the use of single-use plastic straws.
“The future of the world is in our hands, we have the power to change the course of history and take care of the natural planet, all it takes is courage.”
In order to join The Clean South’s mission and stay updated on their upcoming projects follow @thecleansouth on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thecleansouth/ .To support their initiative to ban the use of plastic straws, pledge to stop using and buying them here:https://www.change.org/p/everyone-pledge-to-stop-using-plastic-straws?recruiter=891676483&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=undefined
And don’t forget to check out Taryn’s HOBY interview: