On October 6, I ran my first 5 km race. I race in Brooklyn, New York along the Coney Island Boardwalk. It was a beautiful morning. I was nervous because I had never run that far before. My mom ran and walked beside me the whole time. She told me that I had all the energy I needed to finish and that doing our best to help save marine life would help me focus on getting through the race. My older sister Sammy and I raised $300.00 to save the NY Aquarium Walruses.
What did I love best about that morning? I got to walk through the NY Aquarium and see Ragged Tooth Sharks up close as well as see the walruses. I love these amazing creatures. They need our help. I know we can make a difference if we just try.
On Sept. 12 I gave my first speech at Ignite Charity. I didn't know how nervous I would be. I was. I knew that I wanted to talk about saving sharks and saving the oceans. I had to do it. There were so many people and cameras. I had to hold a mic. Did I mention all the people? Almost 300 people were watching me. I thought I memorized my whole speech. I knew that I could do it in my sleep, but when I saw all those people, it was as if my brain froze a little. Everyone cheered me on when I forgot a line. They were so nice. They wanted to help and so I kept going. My 20 slides that changed every 15 seconds went so fast. I couldn't keep up, but it didn't matter. People listened anyway. I hope I got my message out.
Here is my message: Hi my name is Maddie. I am 9 years old and I am an activist and an Ocean Warrior. We all need to try every day to do what we can to save our oceans because with every breath we take, with every drop of water we drink, we are connected to the oceans. We are harming marine life with overfishing, shark finning and pollution.
EVERYONE can make a difference if we just try. Please try. Help save our beautiful planet, our magical oceans and sharks that I love.
I am Maddie, I am an activist and an Ocean Warrior. You can be one too.
Please help AfriOceans and my hero Lesley Rochat do what they can to save our sharks. Help Oceana save our oceans and help National Geographic teach kids like me about our planet and all the animals in it.
The Internet is so cool. I was able to email my hero, Lesley Rochat, Shark Warrior. She emailed me back and now I am even more excited about my dream to save our oceans and all the marine life.
Lesley has helped me realize that yes, I am an Ocean Warrior. You can be too. Here's some of her email to me. I hope it will inspire you.
Thank you so much for a lovely email, the kind words and support of the work I do. I am traveling at the moment, hence the delay in replying - I was in the Cocos Islands, an underwater treasure land, diving with all sorts of sharks and then I visited the Whale sharks of Cancun, Mexico, the beautiful gentle giants. I am on my way home now, back to South Africa and writing to you while in transit at the Atlanta airport.
I receive a lot of emails about my work but yours is especially special to me, not only because you love sharks and the oceans like I do, but because it is knowing that young people like you are out there, people who will, and are making a very big difference. Our oceans need young people like you. I truly believe you hold immense power which we as adults do not, since after all it is us, our generation as well as the ones before us, that have messed up our beautiful planet, leaving it to the next generation to save. Your passion will inspire change, always remember that. Passion is contagious and people will stand up and take notice, and when the passionate people keep at it, eventually it leads to change. Just be patient, have faith, and when the going gets tough, which it often will in a world that generally lacks compassion for the beautiful animals we share the planet with, keep believing in your calling, you are brave and strong, a true Ocean Warrior, a fellow Shark Warrior.
In South Africa I run a youth programme called the AfriOceans Warriors – take a look at it on the website of the organisation I founded, AfriOceans, the link is below. There is also a short video on my SharkAmbassador Youtube link.
I took a look at your website and blog – well done! It is excellent and I am delighted to be included and to be one of the people that inspires you. And yes, it will be great to meet one day, it will be my pleasure. I will be returning to the States in November to dive with the sharks of the Bahamas again...perhaps on one of my trips we can connect, that would be nice.
Wishing you lots of only the best young Shark Warrior :-)
With my mom just back from San Francisco, which is by the Pacific Ocean, I'm really ready to start working on my presentation for Ignite Charity. This is a super kewl new event. It is where people get to talk for five minutes about a charity they are passionate about. My passion is the ocean and saving all the amazing animals that live in it!
My mom does lots of presentations, so she is going to help me get ready for mine. I make Keynote presentations all the time as something for my Save the Shark Club and fundraising for Oceana.
This presentation will be different. I have to talk in front of lots of people and my slides will change every 20 seconds. My mom says she will help me with a 'Plan B', but I don't need it. I love the oceans so much and want to share my message with the world.
Thank you for this chance, Ignite Charity. You rock!!!
I created this site with the help of my mom who inspired me because she is a blogger. I also wanted to blog because one day in Science, my teacher, Mrs. Bradley, told us about how little fresh water is left on our planet. The amount has dropped a lot and it makes me really sad. So sad that I cry whenever I think about it. So, I want to tell you how to save water, how to save our oceans and the animals that live in it. Our planet is precious. Help me save it.
"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry." ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732