Illai co-founded Georgia Kids Against Pollution in response to the growing numbers of local children with asthma in the Atlanta metro area and out of a desire to see urban youth have a chance to experience wild nature. Illai said “We think young people would care if they knew about the problems and if they have a chance to see natural areas where people have not taken over. ” As she entered high school, Illai became a known spokesperson on behalf of clean air, clean water, and energy efficiency measures to curb global warming. Georgia KAP worked locally, educating religious and civil rights leaders on environmental issues and getting people to take small actions like using energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. They got a chance to bring the perspective of urban American youth to the world stag when Illai was invited to be a U.S. delegate to the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she was the youngest delegate from any nation.