Conservation & Community Service
My Week in the Wild
I spent a life-changing week in South Africa as part of animal and nature conservation efforts. Saw how a region devastated by overhunting and over-farming was completely turned around and in 30 years has become a thriving ecosystem for plants, animals, and humans living there.
This was a great example of the Planetizen concept where a group of people from around the world come together and created an environment that cares for its Land, Wildlife, and People at the same time.
I was incredibly proud to spend a day with a group of dedicated scientists and conservationists in South Africa caring for an endangered Black Rhino. We first darted the Rhino from a helicopter. Then I helped get the Rhino’s blood sample, and attached identifiers to its ears.
In the end, the Rhino woke up and safely returned to his family. Black Rhino populations in Africa went from ~100,000 in 1950, to ~3000 in the early 2000s. Because of the efforts of these conservationists, the population has grown back to ~6000 and is slowly increasing, despite illegal hunting still continuing.
I am actively approaching and working with non-profits serving children around the globe in order to promote STEM education and environmental activism.
I’ve been named a UNESCO/Learning Planet Youth Fellow and have started Climate Solutions Society, a non-profit committed to connecting talented young people who want to take concrete steps to combat climate change, but don’t have the resources to get started.
I've also been honored to work with a wonderful organization called Serving Advantage teaching tennis to kids on the Autism spectrum. The mission of this activity is to help children with special needs develop a love for tennis while enhancing their social skills. Additionally, we work to promote awareness and acceptance for the special needs community. It is such a rewarding experience.