Scarlett’s Superstars: Justin SatherBy Anne Cissel
Kids like you can make a difference for wildlife and the environment. Meet some inspiring young heroes who have turned their love of animals into action!
Justin Sather, For the Love of Frogs
Have you ever had an idea that seemed too big to become a reality? Well, meet Justin Sather. His idea was pretty huge: Find a way to help frogs all over the world survive.
Five years ago, Justin was in kindergarten and was sad to learn that many kinds of frogs are in big trouble. Now, he’s 10 years old and has raised more than $20,000 to help his favorite animal. How did he know he could succeed? “My mom read me the book What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada and I learned that one idea can change the world,” says Justin.
Frogs are very special animals. They breathe and drink through their skin, so they are very sensitive to their surroundings. Frogs are an indicator (IN-duh-kay-tur) species, which means that when pollution or other threats are around, frogs show signs of illness or damage earlier than other animals. “This means the frogs are telling us the world needs our help,” says Justin.
Justin started raising money by selling toy frogs to his friends and neighbors. As time went on, he thought of more ways to raise money. He donated it to his favorite conservation groups.
Justin has started a project where he works with people all over the world to turn plastic trash into treasures such as flower planters, plastic-bottle animals, earrings, and more. Recently, he has worked with a woman in Africa to turn plastic bottle caps into bowls. He then sells the bowls and uses the money to help the environment in other ways. For example, he is raising money to buy 244 acres of land in Ecuador, a country in South America, in order to protect it. All of this will help frogs by keeping their habitat free of pollution.
An environmental group just named Justin an “eco-hero,” and he was awarded the President’s Environmental Youth Award. He also won the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes and was recognized by conservationist Jane Goodall as a “change-maker.” So now you know: No idea is too gigantic if you have the determination! For more on Justin’s work, visit www.fortheloveoffrogs.com.
Do you have a story to share about helping wildlife and the environment? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love hearing everyone’s stories, but we are able to feature only a few of them. All submissions become the property of the National Wildlife Federation.