While I was waiting for a reply from Prime Minister Harper, I talked to my mom about what more I could do to save sharks. I need to help them and I like to sketch. My sister, Sammy and I started drawing sharks. My mom did too. Then we looked at Lesley Rochat's amazing photos on her website and Facebook page. She has lots of really cool photos of sharks! I love Lemon Sharks. They are so beautiful with their yellow colour. We looked at all of our sketches and decided to make a 2013 Save the Sharks Calendar.
I'm so excited to share it with you! We are asking $20.00 per calendar and all the proceeds go to AfriOceans Conservation Alliance at www.aoca.org.za. They gave me the okay to use some of Lesley's shark photos. So cool!
Writing emails and making a homemade calendar is a small way I can help. You can help by:
Here is a sneak peak at the 2013 Save the Sharks Calendar
Desire2Learn Mobilize Conference Nov 26
Wow. I can't believe it. It seems like so long ago when Mr. Shawn McEwen asked me if I would like to speak at Desire2Learn's Mobilize Thought Leader Conference at Bingeman Park on November 26.
It is tomorrow! Crazy!
I am sooo excited to get to share my message about saving our sharks and our oceans.
Even more cool is that I get to talk about technology and social media.
I love technology. It has done so much for me. Because of social media, I can blog and I get to read nice comments from people who read my blog. It encourages me and pushes me forward to keep sharing my message.
I also use Twitter. My 'handle' is @sharkwarriorjr. I like to tweet about guess what? You know it -- saving our oceans and our endangered sharks. Yup, its true.
I like to use technology and I research on the Internet A LOT. I follow my heroes at AfriOceans Conservation Alliance - Lesley Rochat (Founder and THE Shark Warrior) and Terry Corr (Head of Education). I also watch amazing videos about the oceans, sharks and all kinds of marine life.
Oh, back to tomorrow's conference. I'm stoked to listen to all the other presenters. The agenda looks really awesome! Check it out at D2L's Mobilize Conference. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get to talk to the other presenters and lots of the attendees.
I'm really hoping to meet Jian Ghomeshi, the host of Q on CBC Radio. My parents are fans of Q and I am too. I couldn't believe that Jian interviewed Van Morrison and Goyte. Jian and I have a few things in common including the fact that we both LOVE to eat Pistachios. Jian is the closing keynote speaker at the Mobilize Conference tomorrow.
Who says you can't be excited for Monday to arrive. With D2L's conference tomorrow....I can't wait!! One more sleep to go!!!
This blog is to thank people who have been so amazing to me. People who believe in me and are helping me share my message.
First, I would like to thank Lesley Rochat and Terry Corr. What a surprise! When I got home from our trip to NYC, I was so happy to see a package for me from my hero, Lesley Rochat, Shark Warrior. Terry Corr, Head of Education for AfriOceans Conservation Alliance and Lesley asked me to be an ambassador for AOCA. They mailed me t-shirts, a cap, badge and membership card for AfriOceans. I wore my cap, t-shirt and badge to school the very next day. It really helped to get more of my friends interested in learning more about sharks. I'm working on a poster for my class about interesting facts about Bull Sharks right now.
Even though we live so far apart, I feel very connected to Lesley and Terry and AfriOceans. They are amazing people and make me feel like I can make a difference. I am excited to share my message about saving our sharks and our oceans.
I would like to thank 570 News and the people who nominated me as a good samaritan for our community. This week I am the 570 News Good Samaritan. Every day on the news more people are learning about why we need to save our sharks. I am so thankful to 570 News for this honour.
I would like to thank Charity Republic and Popy Dimoulas-Graham for all of her encouragement and asking me to present at Ignite Charity. Thanks to Jim Moss for making me smile with The Smile Epidemic. It is awesome to make new friends!
I was honoured to meet MP Peter Braid at Ignite Charity. Thanks for sending me a card with our photo and for your tweet. Peter works so hard for our community.
Many thanks to Melissa Y, The Bourbon Baker for her blog post about my Ignite Charity speech. It was a great reminder about how we can all change the world if we just believe and try.
Please try. Together we can stop shark finning, overfishing and polluting our oceans.
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.
Yesterday, my mom got an email from Terry Corr, the Head of Education for AfriOceans Conservation Alliance (AOCA). Terry asked if I would become an ambassador for AOCA. He said that he shared my website and my message to Lesley Rochat, Shark Warrior (and my hero) with hundreds of kids. That made me feel so great.
My mom said that I am an Activist. We talked a lot about it means. I looked on the AOCA website and found this definition: AfriOceans believes in moving from AWARENESS into ACTION in order to save our oceans. We are the Voice of our Oceans and we do not sit on the fence when taking a position on important issues which threaten our oceans. We depend upon the support of the general public, other NPOs and the scientific community to succeed in our lobbying efforts.
I think it is little things that make a difference. To be an activist is to care enough to act. Every little bit helps. Please don't think what you do doesn't matter. It does.
If there is one change you can make, try not to use plastic bags. They really hurt our oceans and especially sea turtles. The bags float and they don't go away. Turtles can't tell the difference between a plastic bag and a jellyfish. The eat the bag and it gets stuck in their throat. They choke and die.
The pollution from plastic is so bad. Please remember to bring a (non plastic) shopping bag with you. You can be an activist too and help save our oceans and save our planet.
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 :-)
"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry." ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732