National Geographic Society Announces 2020 Young Explorers

National Geographic Society Announces 2020 Young Explorers

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A group of 22 changemakers who exemplify #GenGeo

Who was the last person who inspired you? And why? What qualities did they have that left an impression? The National Geographic Society asks these questions to the passionates who have the courage to change inspiration into life. The organization has proudly announced the spring 2020 cohort of Young Explorers grantees. These 22 young people, between the ages of 16 and 26 with their innovations and achievements in different fields tell that inspiration has the ability to transcend limitations.

Representing six countries, these explorers are engaged in impact-driven efforts ranging from scientific innovation and conservation to education, civic engagement, and moreall developing solutions to pressing problems with their communities.

The Changemakers

Leading scientists, researchers, and storytellers are the explorers who turn their interests into action to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Today, many of these changemakers are young people who are on the frontlines of the most complex and urgent issues of our time, from climate change and human-wildlife conflict to pervasive inequities among underserved communities.

They are #GenGeo—a global community of young people with empathy, tenacity, unbridled, and an insatiable drive to seek solutions to build a sustainable future and thriving planet. These young leaders see profound possibilities to shape the world and they make a choice to do something about it with confidence, and conviction.

Seven of the Young Explorers are walling to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, Katie Stagliano, who founded Katie’s Krops, provides meals to South Carolina families struggling economically during the pandemic, while Chris Suggs, who founded Kinston Teens, organized a drive-through crisis relief giveaway that served 4,000 North Carolina families food, cleaning supplies, and other essential items.

The spring 2020 Young Explorers

Young Explorers are nominated and later selected by the National Geographic Society through a competitive, multi-tiered application process. In addition to funding, Young Explorers receive skill-building, leadership development training, and networking opportunities to connect and collaborate with their peers.

Over the past two years, the National Geographic Society has collectively awarded more than $280,000 in funding to Young Explorers. The Young Explorer grants build on the National Geographic Society’s 132-year history of investing in bold individuals with transformative ideas—innovative scientists, explorers, educators and storytellers.

National Geographic Society is immensely proud to support these young people on their journey, to help elevate their voices and accelerate and amplify their work. 

“At a time when our world is facing significant challenges, these Young Explorers show us that we have many reasons to be hopeful about the future,” Vicki Phillips, Executive Vice President and Chief Education Officer at the National Geographic Society.



The Educational landscape is changing dynamically. The new generation of students thus faces the daunting task to choose an institution that would guide them towards a lucrative career.

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