A few days ago, I was asked to be interviewed on the Eric Drozd Show on 570 News to talk about my views on the Discovery Chanel's Shark Week.
This was my second interview on 570 News and I was happy to have the opportunity be on the radio and on Rogers TV for this opportunity to talk about my love of sharks and why they need to be protected. I have mixed feelings about Shark Week. I think it is great to raise awareness about these beautiful creatures, but I also think that this show sometimes sensationalizes their bites and the fear that people have about sharks.
Shark Week is really popular and I know a lot of folks enjoying watching it. I hope that they will come to love sharks and understand that we have so much more to learn about these majestic undersea creatures.
I do like that Shark Week lets us get to see many new species of sharks that we didn't know existed before. I bet there are many more to discover.
Which shark do you think people fear the most? Many fear the Great White Shark the most because of movies like Jaws. Did you know that this shark is one of the most endangered? It is believed that there might only be 3500 Great Whites left in our oceans. I think that the more we learn about our fears, the more we will be able to get rid of them through understanding and education.
Please listen to my radio interview here:
I am so excited to be returning to Western University in London on May 9 to present to student leaders through the Rotary Seminar for Tomorrow's Leader's 2015. It is such an honour to share my message and the 'activism in a box' toolkit that I've been developing this past year.
A big part of my message simply is about attitude. It is something you find within yourself. It is the belief you hold and cradle with tender loving care. It is the flame of belief that you know deep inside matters to you. It is what fuels you to move forward and find ways to share your gifts with the world.
I believe that we all have greatness inside of us and even if people have said things that cause us to feel otherwise, our attitude helps us so much. It just means taking the first step and making a little (even if it is a small one) of all the things you like best about yourself. Then, when you feel worried or scared that you aren't able to do something important, think about people you admire who have gone before you and list the things you really admire about them. Maybe it is courage, honesty, kindness or strength. Whatever it is, let these characteristics or attributes become your motivation. There are so many people in the world that failed so many times before they were successful. Their attitude and belief in themselves is what helped pull them through the tough times.
I've included a video about famous people who had a lot of negative feedback and failures, but who never gave up on their dreams or on themselves.
I know you have something important you believe in and it is worth sharing with the world. Take that first step start doing what you believe is important. What is your cause? How can you help? Where can you volunteer? There are many wonderful places and ideas to start looking. The Internet is a great resource to help you find like-minded people and organizations to support you. Use your attitude and the energy inside you to take that first step. It may feel like the scariest step, but it will be the beginning of your next amazing journey!
Today is a spectacular day in my opinion. It is a day when so many people pay attention to the environment and think about ways to make a difference. It is like Christmas, New Years, Easter and Thanksgiving all rolled up into 24 hours of bliss for the conservationist in me.
At my school, our A-Team for Wildlife Club organized an outside field clean up event during recess today. Many kids from different Grades participated. Together we collected over 1000 grams of garbage. We were amazed at how quickly we could clean up our playground area. Many hands made a big difference.
It started as a spark of an idea and grew from there. It is everything I talk about in my speeches and I'm so happy and thankful to everyone who helped out today!
Our school held other activities too. Everyone was encouraged to dress in blue and green and to ensure they had a litterless lunch. We had a keynote speaker from the University of Waterloo who talked about water conservation too.
I was so excited that my school came together to make this Earth Day count.
I wish we could all make every day like Earth Day. Why don't we try?
I have lot of tips on my site as reminders of things to do to protect and converse this amazing planet and its ocean. If you have any tips to share or ways you recognized Earth Day, please send me an email. I'd love to hear from you!
On March 4, I gave a speech to 400 Grade 7 to Grade 12 high school girls as well as 100 female teachers representing Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) - this was the theme related to celebrating International Women's Day.
There are many problems we face in the world and I believe that the more we learn from educating ourselves about things we fear the better we'll feel about a lot of things.
The Internet can be a really helpful tool if you are looking to learn more about topics that are of interest to you or to help you stop being afraid or misinformed about something you might not really understand.
Sharks are my thing and I love to myth-bust about them. As I say in my speech - they are just curious fish with really big teeth. No need for them to have a bad reputation yet movies like Jaws and Sharknado and even TV shows like Shark Week send the wrong message.
I hope you'll watch my presentation. I'm always happy to talk about saving our planet, our oceans and endangered marine life.
I'm long overdue for posting blog updates. I've been super busy with school assignments and my research related to the oceans. This isn't a good enough excuse for not blogging though!
Back in January, I was a finalist in my school speech competition. It wouldn't come as a surprise to any of my friends or classmates that I would speak about the oceans and the need to protect them, but what might have been different was who I spoke about. Many of my 6th Grade classmates hadn't heard of the amazing ocean explorer, filmmaker, and conservationist, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and I thought it was important to talk about what an inspiration he has been to me.
I've included a video of my speech so you can learn about him too. I'd love to hear from you about who inspires you. It could be anyone from the past or the present.
I'd also like to mention Lesley Rochat who has been so helpful in my journey as an ocean warrior. She continues to do amazing work to myth-bust about sharks and what we need to do to protect our beautiful oceans.
As Jacques said, "The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat."
There is much we can do to protect our oceans if we only try. No effort is too small and when all those small efforts are put together, they make a world of change.
I believe we can do this. I believe we can save our oceans and save our planet.
November was a busy month. The KWBS A-Team for Wildlife club held its first bake sale and make over $400 from one day (recess and lunch period only). Proceeds were equally split between A-Team for Wildlife and AfriOceans Conservation Alliance in South Africa.
The club had help from moms, dads, sisters, and brothers to prepare the nut-free baked goods. We also included gluten-free and egg-free options. Popcorn sold out quickly as well as the Jolly Ranger lollypops. There were so many different sugar cookies as well as reindeer cupcakes. Yum-Yum!
Although it is a lot of work to prepare for a bake sale, kids love the treats and the proceeds go to worthy causes. I'm so grateful to my mom for all of her help baking and supervising the event. She comes out to our club meetings, which are held every two weeks during the morning recess. Everyone in the club helped out and together we made the bake sale the best one yet!
With a little planning and help from friends and family, you can easily make a bake sale happen at your school, community centre or neighbourhood. Please connect with me if you have questions -- although I'm young, I've held many bake sales already and have lots of tips to share.
Earlier this summer, I was contacted by Ken Jones, the founder of the International A-Team for Wildlife. He asked me to join the international A-Team. I was very excited about the opportunity because I loved what Ken was doing. I wanted to spread his message with my community.
So this fall, I started an A-Team for Wildlife club at my school. We are called "The Conservationists" and our parent leader is my mom, Susan, and often my teacher Mrs. MacLean, who is an amazing conservationist herself, attends our club meetings.
We have such amazing members. I can see the passion inside them, and all the ideas and information they know and are ready to share. One of our members is really interested and knowledgeable about reptiles and amphibians. He shares facts about all these animals, and brings in a different species each week.
Organizing this club has been such a rewarding experience for me. I love seeing our members learn and become more informed about endangered wildlife and ways to protect them.
I know that our planet is in good hands. Not only are children our future, but they are our present.
About a month a go I was contacted by "Dr.Ken Jones" the founder of the A-team and asked to be a member of an elite International A-team.
I was astonished, when I went on their website and I saw what they were doing. I felt that I was not alone in my efforts to help protect animals.
I knew the that I was not fighting a battle that could not be won.
Dr. Jones pulled an amazing team of conservationists together. For me it was kind of like the X-men. Dr. Jones is an wildlife advocate, environmental educator, founder of the tropical Rainforest museum and of course the A-team for wildlife founder. He is an awesome person! He is helping kids around the world who are making a difference understand that what they are doing is important and deserves support.
So for my birthday this year, I asked all my guests to join my A-team for Wildlife club. This fall, I'm planning for it to be up and ready.
I encourage you to check out how to start an A-Team for wildlife club. There is so much helpful information on the website!
For our oceans,sharks and all the A-teams for wildlife, please keep trying and doing little things to help save our planet and the animals that live in it.
In a few days I will be traveling to Carlsbad, California. It is such a beautiful place. When I'm there, I'm really looking forward to visiting the San Diego Zoo, which is not too far from Carlsbad. In preparation for my trip, I have done a lot research about this zoo. One of my favourite ' land animals ' is the Koala. There are some Koala in the San Diego Zoo. I've never seen one up close before and I'm super excited to have this opportunity.
As I'm working on building my Activism in a Box Toolkit, I know that people have different interests. My focus is mostly on the oceans and endangered marine life, but it is important to highlight other animals as well.
Koalas are such amazing creatures and they are on the endangered list. They have very sharp claws and should be treated with respect. They will not hurt anyone unless seriously provoked.
Here are some tips to save these fluffy creatures:
Tip 1: Avoid buying eucalyptus products.
The koala spends most of time eating eucalyptus. They also depend on these trees to give them shelter and hide themselves from dingos. Without the eucalyptus tree, the koalas will cease to exist. Please don't buy these products in order to help keep koalas alive.
Tip 2: Donate to a koala foundation.
This may seem like a small thing to do, but it will make such a huge difference. If you donate a dollar or 50 dollars, your contribution will still make an important difference.
Tip 3 : Support the building of koala bridges in Australia.
So many koalas die each year from being hit by cars. If we support the people who build bridges for koalas, we increase the survival rate of this little grumpy fluff balls.
For our Oceans, sharks and koalas. Thank you for reading today's blog.
I have three weeks of school left before the summer break. I've been busy thinking about how I want to spend my summer. I'll be away for a bit in Carlsbad, California and look forward to being up close and personal with the Pacific Ocean. While I'm there I'll be finishing up my latest project called, "Activism in a Box".
It may sound a bit strange, but it is an idea I've had because of questions people asked me about how I got started as an activist and conservationist. I think people believe that they need to raise a lot of money or do great big things to be an activist, but really, it is about starting. Simply trying, every day, to make our world a better place.
My Activism in a Box toolkit will be available online this July. I'm so excited to share all the tips, tools and inspirational messages to help you find and use your talents to raise awareness about things that matter to you most.
Maybe saving sharks isn't your thing (okay, it is mine), but I'm just as excited to help you find your voice and share your message with the world whatever your idea is to make positive change happen.
You're never too young or too old to get started. Our planet is worth saving and we all can help make a difference. Even the smallest effort to converse and protect our world is worth it. All you need to do is try and I'm here to help you!
"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry." ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732