Devishi Jha, a 17-year-old high school student from Indiana, is determined to use her voice to fight against the threat of climate change.
For Devishi, the struggle against climate change is personal and rooted in a desire to build a better life for people worldwide. "I think of my family in rural India and the hazardous monsoons that ravage the country with greater intensity and frequency every year," she said. “The challenge of sustainable development propels me to innovate, create, and fight for a better planet.”
“The challenge of sustainable development propels me to innovate, create, and fight for a better planet.”
Devishi is making a mark in the climate action space, but she initially found her voice during her speech and drama class. She delivered several speeches about climate action and grew more confident about speaking in public as the course went on. "This goes to show that finding your voice doesn't necessarily have to be in a youth climate space or a similar atmosphere," she said. “There are opportunities all around you to grow your confidence and speak out."
Devishi is the co-founder of Voyagers, a Gen Z-led platform and community designed to promote business sustainability. She also serves as the Director of Partnerships at Zero Hour, an international youth-led climate organization. Devishi's involvement with Zero Hour started in 2019 when she didn't know much about climate change, but she was inspired by an education campaign at her school and wanted to learn more. In her role as Director of Partnerships, she has the opportunity to connect with some of the world's brightest leaders in the climate action space. "I hope to make a tangible difference in my sustainability work," she said.
"I hope to make a tangible difference in my sustainability work."
Devishi was honored for her Environmental work through The ConversationaLIST, our annual honoree list recognizing exceptional Gen Z'ers making an impact. “I use my voice for good by advocating for climate change awareness, sustainable development, and children's rights whenever and wherever I can,” she said.
She encourages Gen Z'ers who are looking to take action in their communities to start small. "Try speaking to a few friends or close family members, and slowly build up from there," she said.
Going forward, Devishi hopes to continue building Voyagers throughout college and beyond. She cites her colleagues at both organizations as some of her most significant sources of inspiration. “They constantly inspire me to work hard and be energetic in my goals," she said.
Devishi resonates with The Conversationalist's mission because she believes that Gen Z must come together and build a more unified world through conversation. "Conversation and breaking barriers to unify Gen Z and beyond is incredibly critical, as I believe that the inability to learn and engage with all aspects of global conversation is a massive inhibitor to problem-solving and cooperation," she said.
“Try to understand why there is a disagreement rather than being mad or upset about it.”
To break open her echo chamber, Devishi tries to get various opinions from social media and news outlets. To tackle difficult conversations, she focuses on approaching them the way she would any conversations. “Try to understand why there is a disagreement rather than being mad or upset about it,” she said.
We'll be cheering for Devishi Jha throughout every step of her climate action journey. Keep up with her on Instagram to learn more about her work and how you can get involved with Zero Hour and Voyagers.