Youth travel specialist Contiki has launched an Earth Month initiative to put the spotlight on under 35s who have created positive change.

The operator, which caters for 18-35 year olds, is focussing on individuals who have launched organisations, created technologies, campaigned, volunteered and worked towards the common goal of creating positive change.

The initiative will be named 35 under 35 and hosted on Contiki’s blog, six-two.

A shortlist of nominees will be released every day throughout April, in no order. The shortlist are chosen from a range of backgrounds including individuals creating technologies to rid the ocean of plastic to YouTubers encouraging others to have open and honest discussions around mental health.

Categories were chosen based on issues that Contiki, its parent company The Travel Corporation, and its non-profit TreadRight, feel most passionately about. These include; water preservation and protection, human rights, animal welfare, zero waste, mental wellbeing, and the young leaders of tomorrow.

There will be a judge for each category, as follows:

  • Water category – Seth Maxwell, CEO and co-founder of the Thirst Project
  • Human rights category – Sarain Fox, indigenous activist, host of VICELAND’s RISE series and ambassador to the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School
  • Animal welfare – Aliya-Jasmine Sovani, NBC host, environmental and wildlife reporter and ambassador for World Animal Protection
  • Zero waste – Celia Ristow, zero waste campaigner and author of the blog Litterless
  • Mental Wellbeing – Alayna Fender & Michael Rizzi, YouTubers who discuss their own journeys towards self-acceptance while providing support and advice on topics including sexuality, body confidence and mental health
  • Young Leaders of Tomorrow – Craig Kielburger, humanitarian, activist and social entrepreneur who co-founded the WE Movement with his brother Marc Kielburger

Donna Jeavons, director of sales and marketing at Contiki, said: “A sense of purpose is central to the beliefs of today’s youth.

“It’s our youth who have the optimistic and innovative spirit to make true change in our world. six-two’s 35 under 35 mission sets to showcase the incredible individuals leading the charge in their respective fields and use their stories to further inspire our younger generations.”