Osceola Ward, Current LiS

Ward wants to empower underserved L.A. communities to be their own advocates. A certified instructor with Outward Bound Adventures, he takes local high school students to places like Mono Lake in the Sierra Nevada to teach them about nature and environmental issues. Ward hopes they’ll take what they learn home to fight for better conditions in their neighborhoods. “If you’re never able to leave your community, you’re unable to envision something different,” he says. On trips, he listens to what the kids have to say. “You can’t be a leader without ingratiating yourself with the community. I want to see what the needs and demands are, and then mold my project around that.” His plan is to bring people together for a regional summit that focuses on how to get environmental justice.