Origins: An Interview With Our Founder

Youth Climate Action Team Incorporated (YCAT) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization offering unparalleled diversity in climate action opportunities for young people. The drive that sparked this international movement engaging over 1,200 youth across 18 countries ties back to Founder and Executive Director Samir Chowdhury’s deeply personal connection to the issue of climate change.

“My family’s from Bangladesh, which is, unfortunately, a country that is at the forefront of the climate crisis. However, due to socio-economic and political barriers, it’s unable to implement substantial measures to address the issue. My relatives have experienced terrible flooding. 1000 people march to the capital of Bangladesh every day because of how bad the flooding is in their hometowns,” Chowdhury said. “I knew that, beyond science and beyond a laboratory, I wanted to make an impact solving an issue that was so personal to me, so I entered the realm of activism and I founded YCAT.”

Since its founding, YCAT has come to reach over 200,000 people, with over 1,200 organizers in five continents and 18 countries.

Through the Operations, Communications, Social Media, Logistics, Global Affairs, Finance, and Press core teams and the Climate Education Extracurricular and Student Network subcommittees, organizers have access to numerous opportunities calling for diverse skill sets that all center around one concept: intersectional climate activism.

Organizers can participate in the Clean America Project (the first global teen-led energy research study!); plan speaker events with eminent activists; create graphics or visuals for YCAT’s social media platforms; track other organizers’ service hours; plan and lead YCAT’s summer camp for passionate youth; lobby politicians for climate-friendly legislation; make social justice readings more accessible by working with local libraries through the Social Justice Literacy Initiative; connect with our regional branches in multiple continents; onboard new organizers; fundraise to support the operations and initiatives of our movement; develop and teach climate crisis curriculum for middle and elementary schoolers; liaison with smaller, local organizations and advise their activism; spread awareness by writing for our newsletter; and simply find a sense of belonging in a passionate community working together to make a difference.

Most recently, we are launching our blog here on Medium in an effort to cultivate a space where learning about the intersectionality of the climate crisis is approachable and welcoming for youth. We plan to publish stories on a variety of topics, such as simplified niche climate phenomenons, updates on our unique initiatives (lookout for a story on our summer camp coming soon!), digestible tips for making a difference from your bedroom, the intersections of climate activism and social justice, and unique perspectives from activists who deserve to be amplified.

“With tons of different ways to get involved, my goal with this platform is for youth around the world to understand that they can pursue their interests while bettering our planet at the same time. Engaging in climate action is vital and it’s pertinent,” Chowdhury said. “I want YCAT to completely reform the status quo of climate action: there are so many ways to make an impact. At YCAT, I want to — and I think we already are — reforming what climate activism means.”

“Getting involved is really easy and requires very low commitment. All you have to do is fill out the form on our website, and you’ll be contacted within a week or two to get started,” Chowdhury said.

On our website you can sign yourself up for our email list in order to stay up to date on everything YCAT is up to. Additionally, you can find us on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook at @youthclimateinc, or on Linkedin and Youtube at Youth Climate Action Team Inc. For important YCAT-related resources, you can visit our Linktree, and feel free to email us at Lastly, make sure to follow us here on our Medium page — you won’t want to miss the exciting blog content we have coming soon!