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What it Takes to Become an ISF MobSTIR and Why They Matter

By: Dylan Fournier

Ian+Somerhalder+uses+social+media+to+reach+out+to+the+environmental+community.+Somerhalder+founded+ISF+five+years+ago+to+create+conservation+awareness.
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What it Takes to Become an ISF MobSTIR and Why They Matter

Ian Somerhalder uses social media to reach out to the environmental community. Somerhalder founded ISF five years ago to create conservation awareness.

Ian Somerhalder uses social media to reach out to the environmental community. Somerhalder founded ISF five years ago to create conservation awareness.

Ian Somerhalder uses social media to reach out to the environmental community. Somerhalder founded ISF five years ago to create conservation awareness.

Ian Somerhalder uses social media to reach out to the environmental community. Somerhalder founded ISF five years ago to create conservation awareness.


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Imagine a world where wild animals roam free, plant and animal extinction are a thing of the past, and cars give off zero emissions in a clean atmosphere free of pollution. These are just a few initiatives that an Ian Somerhalder Foundation MobSTIR helps to support.

“ISF, founded by an actor and environmental/animal advocate Ian Somerhalder, is a 501 (C)3 nonprofit dedicated to empowering, educating and collaborating with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures,” director of youth division and convention coordinator Jules Trace said.

The organization focuses on raising environmental awareness and animal protection issues, supporting initiatives to promote green energy, global conservation and anti-animal cruelty programs, and by empowering youth to become a united and spirited force for change.

To help create environmental awareness to youth, Somerhalder and his team developed a division within ISF called the ISF MobSTIRS. MobSTIRS are a volunteer youth group that allows teens and kids under 18 who share a passion for preserving our environment to come together and help spread the word about the global challenges and problems our world is facing. Through this program, the youth learn about the many ways they can positively impact our environment like reducing their carbon footprint, ending animal cruelty, explaining the effects of climate change, going green, and creating awareness for animal extinction.

“I know that kids and teens are the ones who can make the biggest impact and I wanted to be involved with an organization that valued them,” Trace said.

Over the course of a year, ISF MobSTIRS engage in many group and individual projects that help to create a safer and cleaner environment. Most recently, MobSTIRS got their hands dirty when they restored green space by removing litter from their local communities and learned how to plant organic vegetable and herb gardens right in their own backyards. They’ve dove into the entrepreneurial world by creating and launching their own online advertising campaign complete with digital marketing material that promoted Earth Day and the importance of going green in 2016.

MobSTIRS also have access to “The Playground,” an instant online messaging board where members can correspond with each other to discuss issues of importance and collaborate on campaigns aimed at serving the ISF mission. Members also participate in exclusive online conference calls that bring ISF MobSTIRS from around the world together in “one room” to brainstorm ideas for upcoming campaigns.

With access to the ISF booth at conventions, MobSTIRS are given the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and really dive into the nonprofit world. Through this experience, MobSTIRS receive a sneak peak at the inner workings of running a nonprofit organization while learning how to engage new audiences who share their passion for the preservation of our environment.

“I have so enjoyed getting to work with the ISF team and get to volunteer at the booths,” ISF MobSTIR Rylyn K says. “Being a part of ISF, I have furthered my knowledge on the environment and how I can personally be more green!”

The Ian Somerhalder Foundation has launched and supported many campaigns boasting loud messages like the fair treatment of animals and the preservation of nature. The organization encompases several programs and services ranging from youth empowerment, habitat and species conservation, and animal rights and rescue to the advancement of science, education and clean energy.

“One of ISF’s programs that is especially on fire right now is our Grants Program,” Jules said. “We have given out many Grants throughout the years.”

Some of their most recent grants include: $200,000 in Emergency Medical Care grants for Animals, $6,000 grant to Silent Heroes Foundation to help end Human-Elephant conflict, and $20,000 in grants to The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) and Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to keep the historic horses of Nevada’s Virginia Range wild and free.

The success of these campaigns would not be possible without the continued support of its donors, co-ventures, and dedicated volunteers like the MobSTIRS youth division that help raise awareness for these critical issues.

Since ISF is a non-profit organization, the foundation relies heavily on online and social media from its members to help spread their message in positive ways.

“We do not have an office but are made up of thousands of supporters all over the globe who spread our initiatives and projects,” Trace said. “We see the negative impact that social media is making on teens and kids and want to deviate that track by using social media for action based social greatness.”

It takes a lot of heart, compassion, dedication, and determination to become a successful ISF MobSTIR. They tackle some pretty big issues to help deliver a powerful message why, globally, we need to change our course of direction.

According to Duke University’s Center for Sustainability and Commerce, on a daily basis the average person generates 4.3 pounds of waste. In one year that totals to be 1569.5 pounds of waste. Most often trash doesn’t get recycled and found its way into the natural environment where it can leak dangerous chemicals like lead into our land and water.

Plastic that finds its way into our waters is another critical issue negatively impacting our wildlife. ISF reported this month that an estimated 86 percent of the ocean’s sea turtles ingest plastic and 28 percent of our sea lions get tangled in plastic each year. This is all avoidable and boils down to human carelessness.

Deforestation is destroying our wildlife’s natural habitat and decreasing the earth’s oxygen. According to the Worldwide Wildlife Federation, an estimated 18 million acres of forest are destroyed each year to clear away land for other uses. To put it into perspective, that’s 48 football fields destroyed every minute. If we don’t have trees, then there is no more fresh air and no more homes for our wildlife leading to animal extinction. There are more trees cut down in a year than all the planes, cars, and boat emissions combined. Without forests our food, fresh water, air supply, climate stability, wildlife, and medicines will be a thing of the past.

These are the reasons why MobSTIRS are voicing their message to create change and take better care of our planet before it’s too late. It’s a challenge, but one these devoted youths won’t be giving up on.

“I believe that ISF’s greatest challenge is being able to create change in every single area that needs help in the world,” Trace said.

If you believe you’ve got the heart and passion for what it takes to become an ISF MobSTIR, please visit www.isfoundation.com or email youth@isfoundation.net to learn how you can make a positive impact in our world.

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What it Takes to Become an ISF MobSTIR and Why They Matter