Interview with Jay’Len Boone: The UN Youth Climate Action Summit

Jay’Len Boone – 2019-20 Youth Observer to the UN – made his first public appearance at the recent United Nations Youth Climate Summit. I got the opportunity interview him about his background and goals for the position.  I can’t wait to see Jay’Len accomplish his goals as the next Youth Observer. His background as an environmental entrepreneur will bring a new perspective to the position.

Grace McGrath: What was your favorite part of the summit?

Jay’Len: I really enjoyed the Climate Strike on Friday, September 20th. I have never attended a march with that many people. This march was unique because there were so many little kids, and that almost made me shed a tear. They should be in school, learning, but instead, they’re outside fighting for their future. So inspiring.

GM: What are the goals you are working towards as the UNA-USA Youth Observer? How do you plan to differentiate yourself?

Jay’Len: As Youth Observer, I have outlined a list of 6 goals that I plan to reach by August 2020.

  • Plan and execute three huge media campaigns throughout my term in office (Climate Action, Gender Equality, & Local Action on the SDGs).
  • Build awareness of this year’s most pressing issues while also building tools that help youth take action from the comfort of their homes.
  • Support Young Entrepreneurs in everything that I do (from the videos I make to the events I lead, I want youth at the forefront of it).
  • Keep the online blog consistent and concise. Covering all major events including UNGA, UNA-USA Events, and other UN Summits.
  • Meet as many students across the U.S. as I can.
  • Collect and share the stories of 52 Americans. It would be cool to have one for each state (plus DC and Puerto Rico).

These goals all point toward my central message of “Our World, Our Story” and encouraging young Americans to take control of their narrative and share it with the rest of the world for the purposes of lifting one another. I am also introducing a cool new series on YouTube called “Young Minds Connect.” Stay tuned!

GM: What does being an activist mean to you?

Jay’Len: Being an activist means you don’t wait on the actions or responses of others; instead, you act because you are passionate, inspired, and motivated to do so.

GM: Are there any solutions you have to climate change?

Jay’Len: On a microlevel, students can begin to take action in their households by watching how they produce and handle waste. Abandon the plastics and utilize all the plant-based/reusable alternatives.

On a macro level, we have to continue fighting for the assistance of private and governmental partners. The only way to solve climate change is to get everyone on board. This may mean lobbying or attending discussions with leaders. Or it may mean going outside on Future Fridays and protesting in the streets until change comes. Above all else, we must remain patient but never satisfied. Also, never forget that you are on a team of people across the globe, fighting for the same thing.