Youth Plaintiffs

Navahine youth voices were heard and met with direct action! Their bravery, perseverance and hope secured a climate victory for young people and all people in Hawai‘i, and around the world.

Youth Plaintiff

Rylee Brooke K.

Age: 16
Hometown: Mililani, O’ahu

Since she was only eight years old, Rylee Brooke has been committed to volunteering and advocating for the protection of animals, the environment, the homeless, and empowering youth leaders in her community. In 2016, Rylee Brooke founded three organizations: The Secret Santa Project Hawai’i, Love is a Verb Foundation, and Promise to our Keiki. This organization has grown into The Catalyst’s Club, an umbrella nonprofit for what is now 8 youth-run programs that’s share an overarching mission to create and provide opportunities for children and youth to be a catalyst for change that makes a positive impact on the world.

As a Native Hawaiian, Rylee Brooke and her ‘ohana (family) rely on locally grown and harvested kalo to make poi (dish made from kalo) and luau leaves, limu (seaweed), and poke (Hawaiian dish of raw fish) as staples in their diet. However, climate change is threatening Rylee Brooke’s food security and significantly reducing the abundance of these traditional food sources, which are an important aspect of her culture.

As a snorkeler, diver, and swimmer, even with sharks, Rylee Brooke has personally observed the reduction in fish populations around O‘ahu over the course of her lifetime. She’s distressed by the unprecedented changes occurring in Hawaiʻi and wonders if she should have her own children if the climate crisis continues to worsen.

Being heard and moving forward in unity with the state to combat climate change is incredibly gratifying, and empowering. This collaboration marks a pivotal step towards preserving Hawai’i for future generations—one that will have a ripple effect on the world. I hope our case inspires youth to always use their voices to hold leaders accountable for the future they will inherit.

—Rylee Brooke K.