For teen climate activist Jerome Foster II, there’s no future to prepare for when you’re seeing worse changes in the climate, and nothing’s being done. Jerome Foster II is playing his part in saving the world. Though he just got into college, Foster already has some important reputation as a climate activist.
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PEOPLE’s Earth Day Special
The 18-year-old from Washington D.C. is the creator of the Climate Reporter which is a youth media website. He’s also the youngest participant of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and the executive director of OneMillionOfUs which is a youth voting advocacy group. And still Foster doesn’t actually want the job.
Jerome Foster II said in PEOPLE’s Earth Day special: “Every young individual has a dream, but we’re giving that as a sacrifice for activism, I wanted to go into coding and astrophysics. But there’s no future to prepare for when you’re watching the climate get worse, and with nothing being done about it.”
Foster says he was only 5 years old when his passion for climate activism started. He said he had the chance to have a really intense connection with nature and just to head out and develop that connection.
The Groundbreaking 2006 Film
As Foster became advanced in age, he started to teach himself through documentaries and books like the groundbreaking 2006 film - An Inconvenient Truthfilm of former Vice President Al Gore. And he realized how many problems Earth was facing. He said he understood the scope, speed and scale, of it and how it was impacting not only animals but people in their everyday lives and the whole human population.
He said he thought grown-ups would be able to deal with it and would be able to solve this issue and get climate change under control. But Foster says he wasn’t right but wrong. So when he was in middle school, he decided to take action.
(Photo : Getty Images)
Foster Wasn’t Supported by His School
Foster said he saw the urgency wasn’t being met so he went on to open an Instagram account so as to teach his class on climate change and also his virtual reality company in high school to make VR experiences on the climate emergency effect. He was inspired by his fellow activist and also close friend Greta Thunberg, Foster began to organize Fridays for Future school strikes in front of the White House.
“My school was not encouraging what I was doing,” Foster reveals of his strikes, noting that his grades suffered subsequently from missing class
“Instructors would not assign make-up work… I think that lack of encouragement actually hurt many people.” He said if he focuses on his school and doesn’t think about his future, then our future will be entirely at risk.
And he thinks that was a struggle and it still is. Despite being frightened with zeros for the period he was missing, Foster still protested for about 58 weeks till the pandemic sent the cause online.
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