At 18 years of age, Sophie Handford serves as the national coordinator for School Strike 4 Climate.
Last year, she was added to a Facebook group of young environmental activists from around the country by a teacher at Kapiti College. Sophie was deeply moved by student strikers across Europe and Australia, striking for urgent action on climate change. She started to wonder if it would be possible for something similar to take place in New Zealand.
After Googling 'how to organise a strike' and not finding much, Sophie came to the conclusion that it couldn't be too hard, and started to make connections across the country.
The first NZ School Strike 4 Climate was on March 15 and 20,000 young people made their voices heard. It gained the attention of the entire country, with news outlets such as Stuff & Newshub reporting.
School Strike 4 Climate is still planning and still taking action. Climate change is a crisis and needs to be treated with urgency. Aside from being one of the national coordinators of School Strike 4 Climate NZ, Sophie also works for Enviroschools and the GO Club, a science and technology group for girls.