Are you ready for an amazing line-up of speakers? The first ever TEDxKitchenerEd is here and the event will be live-streamed tonight starting at 7:30pm ET from Huron Heights Secondary School in Kitchener.
I'm so honoured to be selected to speak at this event and to share my message about ocean conservation, AfriOceans, and protecting marine life including my beloved SHARKS!
I hope you'll watch TEDxKitchenerED and to check out the bios of all the speakers.
Many, many thanks to Andrew Bieronski for all of his hard work organized this event. He is an amazing teacher and we're so lucky to have him in our community.
I'm so excited about the opportunity to be recognized as a "Leading Girls Building Communities" award recipient for Waterloo Region. MPP Catherine Fife has been such a terrific supporter and I'm thrilled to have been nominated by Christine Tolton and to have the support of my family and my community.
Susan Cook-Sheerer interviewed us on Rogers TV daytime a few weeks ago and I am so happy to be able to talk about my passion for planet preservation and my support for AfriOceans Conservation Alliance.
I never dreamed I would win this award or appear on TV to talk about being an ocean warrior, but here I am!
My message to you is to believe in yourself even if you feel afraid and even if you have hurdles or obstacles. They are just opportunities to challenge you and help you stretch and grow in ways you never thought possible.
For our oceans and endangered marine animals and all the moms in the ocean and on land - Happy Mother's Day!
Last spring I did an interview with the amazing Kelly Lovell, who has her own TV Show on Rogers. She and I were presenters at TEDxWaterloo Youth in 2013. She has a great message to share and is making a real difference in our community and in our world to inspire youth.
One of the things I noticed about myself in the interview I did with Kelly is that sometimes the thoughts in my head didn't always come out as smoothly as I wanted them to. The message I wanted to share was there though. Kelly was a great interviewer and really helped me feel comfortable along the way.
I've learned that my message is the most important thing and that I love being asked to present and to give interviews. It is my way of sharing my passion for our oceans and protecting endangered marine animals.
I need to give a voice to those that can't speak for themselves -- marine animals and especially sharks that are being needlessly killed.
So, here's my thought for you on this Friday and as I prepare to do a TV interview on Rogers this morning with MPP Catherine Fife: life is not perfect. We need to do our best and share what is in our hearts. If we do this, we won't be weighed down by the regrets of "what ifs".
We all have a light inside of us with ideas and dreams to share. Even if your delivery isn't perfect, your passion and enthusiasm will always win out and help inspire others!
Here's a link to my interview with Kelly Lovell on the Youth Effect show.
Since I won't be home to celebrate Earth Day at my school, I arranged to have a bake sale in advance of April 22.
On April 15, I held a bake sale at my school with all proceeds going to AfriOceans Conservation Alliance. I had help from some amazing friends in my Grade 5 class. Together, we sold cookies, cupcakes, licorice, pencils, Rainbow Loom jewelry and dolls and raised over $400! I'm so excited about the success of this event.
It is just another reminder of what can happen when you have an idea and share it with friends who support and believe in you and things that are important to you.
Most people know how much I care about protecting our oceans and the animals that live in it. With the education we share during the bake sale and all other times too, I feel every little thing we do makes a difference.
I love talking to people about the positive changes we can make and I'm always so happy for any and all support.
Our planet is so beautiful. We need to protect it and I'm so grateful that so many people understand that they can make a difference even by just making one small positive change each day.
One step in the right direction - end of whale & dolphin meat sales for Japan's biggest online retailer
I just learned about the Japanese online retailer, Rakuten, who is ending all online sales of whale and dolphin meat by the end of April.
This announcement is such a relief to me. When I read a tweet that linked to the news article, I waved my hands in the air and shouted, "I'm so excited!".
This move is a step in right direction. Stopping the whale slaughter is huge! I remain hopeful that in generations to come we might see our whales frolicking in the ocean.
It gives me hope that people understand how much oceans and marine life need our help, and it gives me hope that everybody knows that that pollution, global warming, and over fishing will disappear if we all do something to stop the harm we are causing.
Most of all, this announcement, gives me hope that we will save our oceans and the marine life that needs it to survive.
I am grateful for the ICJ ruling and Monday's verdict of the UN court. This four-year legal campaign by the Australian government also helped change Japan's mind about the whale hunt in the Antarctic. They have called it off for next winter.
Sometimes the wait is long for change to happen, but we need to keep trying to get our message out there and bring awareness to these issues. Time and our continued focus will bring about the change we want to see in our precious planet.
Lately, I've been asked to create video messages. Some are as short as 30 seconds and some messages are much longer. I am lucky that my parents help we make and post these videos. It is pretty easy to do with a little support. Just like anything, it takes a bit of time to think about what you want to say and why you want to share it.
Do a YouTube video.
Everything worth doing takes a bit of planning. I like to write out what I want to say using Keynote on my iPad. Images help me get really clear about my message.
I'm really thankful that I am growing up in a time when we have computers and social media. I love that I can tweet, blog and make a YouTube video that can be watched by friends and supporters all over the world and especially in Cape Town, South Africa for all the Ocean Warriors at www.aoca.org.za.
Here's to sharing your message and remember, even the smallest voice can make a huge difference. Time to share your message. Are you ready?
A few weeks ago, my mom asked me if I wanted to make a vision board. I wasn't sure what it was, but I was eager to learn more. I found out that a vision board is a tool to help you figure out what you want to do or what dreams you have that you'd like to make happen.
It can include cutting out colourful pictures, drawing, printing words or sentences that mean something important to you.
I had so much fun creating mine. It didn't take long at all. In 30 minutes, mine was done. What was really cool was that I knew I wanted to take scuba diving lessons, but I didn't think much beyond that idea until I made my vision board. Once I looked at all the pictures and words that I pinned on my board, it was amazing to see my dreams and wishes pop out the way they suddenly did.
Soon after I made my vision board, I researched where I could take scuba diving lessons and all the details I needed. Now, my goal seem much more doable.
If you haven't made a vision board for yourself, I hope you'll give it a try. Just let yourself dream big. Don't be afraid to pin up all the things you see for your life. My mom always says that everyone has greatness in them. I believe her and I think that making a vision board is a helpful way to explore ways to let your greatness shine!
Today I gave a speech in French at my school about Barracudas. While some people think about them as cool cars from the 1970s, they are also very cool fish.
I usually speak about sharks and how misunderstood they are, but they aren't the only fish in the sea that are feared by humans. Barracudas have a nasty reputation. They can grow up to 6 feet and can weigh up to 50 kilograms. They like to eat Mackerel, Jacks, Grunts, and even Dolphins.
The species of Barracuda that could be considered most dangerous is called the Great Barracuda because they are the largest and most abundant. They are found from the border of the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and also found in the Caribbean. Attacks on people are most likely caused by the Barracuda's poor vision. They mistake sparkly jewelry and cameras for shimmery fish.
Here are some facts about the Barracuda:
They are torpedo-shaped fish with sharp teeth and some call them the tiger of the sea. The are really great swimmers and they can make fast turns! The can swim in narrow, twisty places and can inflate and deflate their swim bladder, which allows them to rise up or lower down in the water. Amazing!
They don't have many enemies and they can hang motionless and wait for their victim to swim by. They are super fast and have knifelike teeth that can munch on their prey easily.
People eat Barracuda as 'steak' and in West Africa, people smoke them and eat them in soups and sauces. We better keep our eyes open and protect the Barracuda so that they last for generations to come.
Why is the Barracuda so popular? There is a car named after it and a song by Heart. I had no idea about either, just the fish, until my mom started singing the song every time I spoke the word, "Barracuda".
I guess it is a really cool looking fish and enough so to have a car and a song named after it!
I am so excited to be presenting at the first ever Count Me In Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is being held on February 24 at the Centennial Concert Hall. There are amazingly talented speakers lined up for this event including my very dear friend, Scott Hammell. He is "paid to breathe" and is a four time Guinness World Record Holder. He is one of the nicest people I know and has a great message to share with everyone.
I'm really thankful to the founder of Count Me In, Shane Feldman for inviting me to present at this event. Kids like Shane remind us that we're only limited by the size of our dreams and that we can make a difference if we believe in ourselves and we tell someone about our dream. When we do this, it is really cool how people want to help!
As an ambassador for AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, I spend a lot of time thinking about ways to help save our oceans and our planet. There are lots of little things you can do every day that don't take much time or effort at all, but these little things add up. If we all believe our efforts can help, we'll be amazed by the positive difference we'll make for each other and for our world.
Please follow me on Twitter @sharkwarriorjr for water saving tips, shark awareness info and cool facts about our planet.
Now that 2014 has arrived, many people think about having new year's resolutions. I think it is a great time to think about resolutions that help save, conserve and protect our planet and our oceans.
Here are some tips to get your new year started in great direction:
Don't overwhelm yourself with your resolutions. Even if you just pick one and can stick to it, you'll make a difference in saving energy and that is awesome for our planet.
Happy New Year!
"We never know the worth of water till the well is dry." ~Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732