Compassion across the country


“I joined YCAT Inc. because I am really interested in climate justice/preservation and activism,” Vinayak said. “I think the ways that miseducation of these issues affects the world is extremely overlooked.”

Aryan Rajput, Staff Writer

Last month, subzero temperatures combined with snow and ice caused power outages that shut down cities throughout the nation. For the state of Texas, the crisis, caused by an unprepared and unstandardized power grid, only worsened in the ensuing weeks. Food shortages and disrupted water services forced residents to take desperate measures such as melting snow in order to flush toilets, and burning furniture to produce heat. 

Over 1,500 miles away, students at Jefferson determined how they could help. Among them is sophomore Vihaan Mathur, Director of Operations for the Youth Climate Action Team Inc., who works to raise awareness and continues to push for meaningful change. 

“We collaborated to make a comprehensive social media post, explaining what occurred in Texas and how it affected the people living there directly, as well as recommendations for how teenagers could help from far,” Mathur said. “For example, we linked over 15 different organizations to donate to or work with that provide aid. The post actually went viral, reaching over 3,000 unique users.” 

YCAT Inc. is a 501c4 nonprofit organization that consists of over 1000 members across the world. It pursues a unique approach to preventing climate change, the effects of which were on full display in Texas. 

“We fight climate change through the youth perspective, with an intersectional approach in order to combat the issue from every stance,” sophomore Radha Vinayak said. “We really are a global organization, working with other groups that may not be conventionally associated with the issue.”

Mathur and Vinayak hope to do more than just bring attention to prevalent issues, though. They undertake multiple projects to brainstorm and implement initiatives, with well defined goals in order to produce substantial results. 

“One thing that my specific team is working on right now is the Clean America project, where we are basically doing the world’s first ever global youth-led energy study,” Mathur said. “We are going to be quantifying the impacts of nonrenewable energy use in the United States, with the objective of influencing U.S. energy policy.” 

You can learn more about their work on Instagram at @youthclimateinc.