SAN FRANCISCO – Michelle Song, a 15-year-old from Greenville, is one of seventeen young environmental activists from across the globe to receive a 2023 International Young Eco-Hero Award, announced Action For Nature.

This award honors eco-conscious youth ages 8 to 16 who are taking crucial steps to solve tough environmental problems. Michelle won Second Place in this year’s competition.

Winners of the International Young Eco-Hero Award are selected by a panel of independent judges, including experts in environmental science, biology, and education. For the past 20 years, Action For Nature has recognized 339 Eco-Heroes from 27 countries and 32 U.S. states.

Michelle started Community for Environmental Sustainability as a student-led initiative under the non-profit Love a Sea Turtle to address food insecurity and environmental issues in her community. CFES links several student-led programs to tackle environmental and social justice problems through advocacy, education, and volunteer service, including the creation of community gardens and orchards. Through CFES, Michelle and her team have donated over 4,500 pounds of fresh produce to those in need, engaged 1,000 volunteers each year, and have inspired activism and legislation.

“Michelle and all of this year’s young climate champions are proving one thing loud and clear: the next generation of leaders has arrived, and they’re unleashing their power on a global scale to tackle the climate crisis head-on,” said Beryl Kay, president of Action for Nature. “The incredible accomplishments of Michelle and our other winners are more than just isolated projects – they’re changing lives and transforming communities for the better.”

“My ‘Aha!’ moment was discovering the need to form a collective space for everyone’s work, champion all voices, and coordinate our efforts to achieve better results for our overall mission of improving the lives of everyone on the planet,” said Song.