Local Heroes: Elephant Activist Taegen Yardley

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This week’s Local Hero is trying to save something that weighs somewhere between 6,000 and 13,000 pounds more than her.

13-year old Vermont Commons School student Taegen Yardley is barely a teenager but she’s been to the United Nations, spoken at the Vermont Statehouse, organized rallies on Church Street. She’s even met Giselle Bundchen. All because she’s fighting to save elephants and ban ivory trade.

“I think that if you get interested enough and are passionate enough, people will listen. Especially to kids.” said Yardley.

A video produced by Yardley and her Vermont Commons School social studies teacher Mark Cline Lucey was posted less than a month ago. It has 35,000 views on Facebook. It’s been shared by people from the US Ambassador to Gabon to the World Wildlife Fund to Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis.

“There’s a lot of people out there who are looking to the new generation,” said Cline Lucey, “the next generation to really get involved and take ownership for the world that they’re inheriting. We all just get inspired when we see young people passionate about something.”

Taegen is thinking globally but acting locally. She’s one of the main proponents of bill H 297, banning ivory trade in Vermont. It passed the House and is now in committee in the Senate.

“I don’t know enitrely how it’s going to end.” said Yardley. “We’re just going to keep going until this bill is passed, then we’re going to keep going past that and try to spread the word outside of the US.”

See Taegen’s full video and learn how you can help by visiting the A World With Elephants Facebook page.

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