If I had to describe my experience working in the non-profit industry and sharing that with a sibling, I would use the word “spectacular.”

Carter Ries is 16 years old and has been running the non-profit organisation, One More Generation, with his sister Olivia since 2009. Together these two young change-makers are working to inspire youth around the world to stand up, be heard, and save the planet.

My sister and I have been doing this for the last eight years – starting aged seven and eight – and not once have we wanted to quit One More Generation. 

There has been stress, there have been arguments, but the reason we continue to push on is because we motivate each other. Without Olivia, I probably would have said it was all too much. 

Olivia and I go around the world teaching youth groups about the need to preserve our planet – and so far we have successfully shown many of these groups that anything is possible if you are willing to work at it. 

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We have created many campaigns – such as our Plastic Awareness week-long curriculum  – where we teach students how they can learn to help our environment. Another example is our Rhino Letter Writing Campaign, where we got over 10,000 kids from around the world to write letters to the South African government, asking them to stop rhino poaching. Not only did this show the South African government that people around the world cared, it showed the youth that they had a voice of change and can use it on the go. The most difficult thing, however, is getting them to believe that. 

As a sibling combo we work hard to deliver a strong message. I am the icebreaker and work to make that first connection with the audience. Olivia, on the other hand, brings the information and the cleverness. She is the person that gets everyone back on track and begins to explain how we started and why we are there. We tag team the presentation, so after Olivia tells the youth all about a problem the world is facing, I show them what they can do to make a difference today. Each of us can work on our own, but we work best as a team!

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We recently launched a global OneLessStraw Campaign – highlighting the effects of global straw usage on animals and the environment. You can learn more about our work by visiting our website and following us on social media. And, remember, “Anybody can make a difference… if we can, so can you!”

- This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. 

This post is part of a series produced by Virgin Unite in partnership with Ocean Unite, an initiative to unite and activate powerful voices for ocean-conservation action.