Akhila Bandlora

Youth Leadership Council Member

Akhila is an 18-year-old Freakonomics enthusiast, octopus lover, and above all, a poet. She has lived in Phoenix, Arizona, for most of her life, but is headed to Princeton University this fall. The recipient of Bow Seat’s Gold Award for poetry in 2017, her work has been featured by Greenpeace USA, The Ocean Project, and Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center, among others.

Past the page, Akhila works towards environmental justice. She’s an organizer with Arizona Youth Climate Coalition and serves on Earth Echo’s Youth Leadership Council. In 2019, she served as a delegate for Sea Youth Rise Up, an initiative bringing young people from all over the country to Washington D.C. for Capitol Hill Ocean Week.

Akhila believes one of the most accessible ways young people can get involved in their local community is through art. To that end, she is the co-founder and co-president of Creative Youth of Arizona, an organization dedicated to providing and highlighting opportunities for creatively inclined teens in Arizona. Likewise, she co-launched Phoenix’s first Youth Poet Laureate Program.