Callie Broaddus

Callie Broaddus


Reserva’s Rise: Youth-Powered Conservation

meet callie

Callie Broaddus is the Executive Director of Reserva: The Youth Land Trust, an organization she established in 2019 to bridge the gap between youth activism and tried-and-true methods of biodiversity conservation. The flagship initiative was to create the world’s first entirely youth-funded nature reserve in Ecuador’s Chocó Cloud Forest. Her team of youth is working to protect and support local partners, documenting dozens of critically endangered and new-to-science species of plants and animals. Callie spent seven years designing books at National Geographic Kids.

Reserva’s Rise: Youth-Powered Conservation
Nominated by: Joe Grabowski FI'18
Class of 2021 Location Washington DC, USA

There is a growing understanding that young people need to engage with those in power in order to influence decision-making for the Earth they will inherit. But I want to demonstrate that youth, who make up approximately half of the global population, also have an untapped ability to take direct action themselves. Through Reserva’s Youth Council, I have trained youth to creatively channel their interests and skills into successful fundraising initiatives, demonstrating that what some young people may lack in their savings account can be replaced through passion, creativity, and grassroots organizing.

The Dracula Youth Reserve in Ecuador’s Chocó cloud forest is home to critically endangered species including the Brown-headed Spider Monkey, the Black-and-chestnut Eagle, and many more, as well as iconic species such as the Spectacled Bear and Puma. Through our storytelling programs, Reserva is amplifying the need for conservation on the global stage. We aim to create a network of similar youth-funded reserves around the world that will provide enduring protection for Earth’s most fragile and biodiverse ecosystems.

“I hope that this platform will help more diverse, passionate youth to grow into capable and experienced conservation leaders.”

- Callie Broaddus

By incorporating established organizations such as our partner, Rainforest Trust, into our strategy, we are able to offer them a form of youth engagement that changes their entire perception of youth. Our Ecuadorian partner, Fundación EcoMinga, has dedicated time to our creative youth storytelling initiative called the One Million Letters campaign to establish new and valuable working relationships with local governments and neighboring organizations.

I hope that this platform will help more diverse, passionate youth to grow into capable and experienced conservation leaders. Inviting youth to participate in these new and creative ways, I hope to make philanthropy more inviting to a large swath of the population not previously engaged in direct conservation action.

never stop exploring


Get the EC50 print publication