Skip to main content

Join us in welcoming Omesa Mokaya, Clean Water Action's New Youth Engagement Program Manager in Massachusetts! Omesa will be launching the Youth Action Collaborative (YAC) in Malden High School and will also be overseeing the internship program for college students. Learn what Omesa is most passionate about and excited to work on at Clean Water:

What is your background, and what brought you to Clean Water Action? 

I am an environmental scientist who has been involved in environmental campaigning and climate/energy advocacy for over 8 years now. Since I left undergrad in 2015, I have been involved in various campaigns - the longest being Greenpeace Africa’s Food for Life campaign. Here, I contributed to helping smallholder farmers in Lower Eastern Kenya (classified as arid and semi-arid) to adapt to the impacts of climate change by shifting from industrial farming - majorly dominated by multinational corporations - and adopting ecological farming. I also worked in climate change governance, basically lobbying with county governments in Eastern and Western Kenya to put in place policies and increase budgets to support adaptation and resilience-building initiatives towards climate change. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies (Resource Conservation) from Kenyatta University and a master’s degree in Environmental Science with a concentration in Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation from Clark University.  

As an environmental scientist, I have been involved in and have an interest in a number of issues such as energy equity, just energy transition, climate justice, and anti-plastics campaigning among others. Clean Water Action offers a cocktail of all those campaigns, and getting the opportunity to be involved in a number of those issues that I’m deeply passionate about – like climate change and energy efficiency – is what led me here. 

What Massachusetts campaign are you most excited about? 

Given that I will be overseeing the Youth Action Collaborative and implementing the curriculum that touches across all the campaigns, I must say I’m excited about being involved in all the campaigns the organization runs. However, that doesn’t take away my bias and passion towards climate justice and energy equity as those are issues close to my heart given the firsthand devastating impacts of climate change and energy poverty I have faced/seen both in my community and my country. I know several EJ communities in Massachusetts suffer the same fate, and I want to help them address those issues as well.  

Tell us about your new role! 

I’m the Youth Engagement Program Manager and will be launching the Youth Action Collaborative (YAC) in Malden High School soon and will also be overseeing the internship program for college students. I will be adapting the YAC curriculum to create a tailored after-school program to foster environmental knowledge and organizing skills among youth. I will also help to recruit YAC participants in partnership with teachers at partner schools that we will be working with. 

I’m excited to be working with young people, both in high school and college. These are the people who, like myself, have done the least in contributing to the impacts of climate change and most of the environmental injustices we face today, but they will be the ones who will be here to experience the impacts. So, getting to empower them to take up roles in addressing these issues is a great opportunity. Young people are the future! 

What else would you like our members to know about you?  

I’m a first-generation graduate and the only one in my family with a university degree. Most of the out-of-school skills I have, I learned on my own. Photography - I bought my first camera and I hadn’t held a camera in my hands ever before. (I didn’t even know how to turn it on, so I learned everything including settings on YouTube)! Podcasting - I recorded the first two interviews and didn’t even know how to edit and upload yet, so I sat with them for over two months before I could figure out (from YouTube, again!) how to edit and upload and share. Currently, the podcast has gained an audience in over 40 countries across the world!