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Volunteen of the Month: Charles Orgbon

Charles Orgbon, a junior at the largest high school in Georgia, Mill Creek High School, is the founder and CEO of Greening Forward. He moved to the suburban community of Gwinnett County after spending his childhood on his family’s farm, and he was troubled by the lack of environmental concern and the amount of liter he saw around him. He formed a student action team at his school to help deal with these problems. The program was a success and he wanted to inspire and help other kids set up similar programs at their schools. Charles laid the foundation for building Recycling Education, the name he gave his group, into a functioning charitable organization that sponsors the Earth Savers Club network. Later, the name was changed to Greening Forward to better reflect the holistic viewpoint the organization has on the environment.

Greening Forward has since gone on to offer mini-grants, recognition, civic engagement curricula, skill-building workshops, and an online platform for idea
sharing for other young environmental change makers. Today, the network has grown to over 500 youths in three countries that have recycled over 20 tons of waste, saved 86,000 gallons of water, and planted 72 trees thanks to Greening Forward's help.  In addition, Charles' school has partnered with Greening Forward to adopt several local streams, hold annual Earth Day and America Recycles Day celebrations, support their local farmer's market, keep their school campus and nearby park litter-free. Their latest initiative is to encourage biking and carpooling to school.

In addition to running Greening Forward, Charles also advises a number of non-profits including Youth Service America, Earth Force, the Zerofootprint Foundation, and the Gwinnett Children's Shelter Teen Board. Additionally, he serves as a governmental adviser on the Model Atlanta Regional Commission and the 7th U.S. Congressional District Student Editorial Board. Charles enjoys spending time outdoors with family and hanging out with friends.

When asked in what ways the organization changed his life, he answered, “I have been [sic] met some of the most inspirational people and traveled to corners of America that I never thought of visiting before.” Moreover, he mentioned a bit of advice he once picked up from Gandhi, “Finding yourself often means losing yourself in the service of others.” He added, “I am so fortunate that through Greening Forward I find meaning and purpose in life. That is invaluable.”