Activism starts early...
How I got here
Ever since I was a really young boy, I loved going to the Franklin Park Zoo. My favorite animal at the zoo was Ussurri, an Amur Leopard. At home, I would study out of a huge animal encyclopedia that I had, trying to learn as much as I could about animals. I remember learning that Amur Leopards were among the most endangered animals on the planet. I found out that there were only about 30 left in the wild, and that Ussurri was one of 176 left in captivity. I wanted to do something about this situation, so I decided to have a hot chocolate stand in front of my house to raise money to help Amur Leopards. That hot chocolate stand was the beginning of my becoming an activist. Early on, I learned that climate change has a lot to do with why so many animal species are in trouble. In order to save animals and us from extinction, we have to stop habitat destruction and the other negative effects of climate change. I created a handout that I gave to people when they stopped for hot chocolate.
I am now a student at Boston Latin School. I'm a volunteer at the Franklin Park Zoo, and I've also been working on other climate change projects, such as stopping gas leaks, trying to get the City of Boston to divest from fossil fuel companies, and helping to organize a group of students from Boston to attend the climate march in New York City in September 2014. Seven busloads of Boston Public Schools students went to the march. In November of 2015, I traveled to Paris as a youth representative to the NGO part of COP21, the international climate conference. It was an amazing experience to be there with young people from all over the world. It inspired me to do more. I have created a presentation to show people the connection between climate change and the threat to wildlife, and I'm trying to reach as many people as possible.
Ussuri, the Amur leopard from the Franklin Park Zoo, now living in the zoo in Fort Wayne, Indiana.