Juliette is a 17-year old high school student in Los Angeles. She is the star of the movie How I Became an Elephant, which follows her from her home in California to Thailand, where she helps to rescue an elephant and bring it to a sanctuary.
Since making the film at the age of 14, Juliette has become an outspoken advocate for elephant welfare. She speaks frequently at schools, conferences, and film festivals and she has been interviewed and quoted more than a thousand times across newspapers, TV, blogs and radio shows.
She has received numerous awards for her work as a youth activist, including the Youth Activist of the Year Award in 2011 and Animal Hero of the year for 2012. In 2012, the City of Los Angeles honored Juliette with a resolution in recognition of her work and the importance of elephant welfare, declaring August 3rd as Elephant Awareness Day.
Juliette’s goal is to raise people’s awareness about what goes on behind the scenes at zoos, circuses and within the ivory trade so that we can put an end to the mistreatment of these animals. She feels especially passionate about raising awareness among youth and hopes that many of the young people whom she reaches will become youth leaders themselves, if not for elephants, for another cause that is important to them.
JulietteSpeaks was founded as a nonprofit in July 2012 by Juliette West to expand the capacity of her personal animal advocacy work. The mission of JulietteSpeaks is to provide a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, especially animals. The current focus of the organization is elephant welfare. The organization’s goal is to create public awareness about the issues confronting both captive and wild elephants and to advocate for their protection.
Photo Credit: Lexie Boezeman Cataldo