Why am I blogging for National Geographic?
The story starts back in 2008, when my aunt was in Africa. She wanted to bring back something for my brother, Carter, and me. So she came back with certificates letting us know we each adopted a cheetah. Carter and I both were so happy when we got them.
A year after the adoptions, we had to renew them. As we were doing that, I asked my dad why animals needed to be adopted. He told me that if people don’t adopt cheetahs, there might not be any more when I grow up.
I started to cry, and asked my dad “what can we do?” He told me that when I get older, I could start my own company. I took that as “Daddy said we are starting a company.” I went to Carter and we both got excited and kept on bugging my dad saying, “when are we going to start this company?”
Eventually, our parents gave in and helped us start our company. Carter came up with the company name “Please Save Me for the Next Generation,” and we took that and came up with One More Generation or OMG.
Then we collected more than $1,000 for the Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre in Pretoria, South Africa. While we were doing that, the Gulf Oil Spill happened. So for the next four months, we collected badly needed animal-rescue supplies and then drove 11.5 hours down to the Gulf to deliver them. On our last day there, a professor told us about the issue of plastic pollution. We then realized that if we are going to save the animals, we needed to care for the environment as well. We then wrote an award-winning plastic curriculum that we now teach in schools all over the U.S.
We went over to Africa to deliver our check to the Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre. We got to prepare food for the cheetahs, and then feed them.
While we were in South Africa, we learned about the issue of rhino poaching. When we returned home, we created the Rhino Letter Writing Campaign; our goal was to collect 1,000 letters in one year. We collected more than 10,000 letters supporting rhino conservation. We then made our second trip to South Africa, to deliver the letters to the Minister of
Environmental Affairs. Because of all our work to help rhinos, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, asked if we could speak at their conference, so we traveled to Hanoi in October. OMG also just launched an Orangutan Letter Writing Campaign based on the rhino project.
Several months later, someone I know from National Geographic asked if I wanted to do some stories. I said yes and this is my first article. I hope you like it.