(EDITOR’S NOTE: School Life Troy was approached by an impressive, dedicated middle-schooler who wants to make a difference in the world. The following is his column.)
By Sebastian Chokka, 7th-grade,
Boulan Park Middle School
Have you ever looked at the state of the earth? Chances are you have and you have seen that it is in poor condition. I noticed this in 5th grade while walking alongside a beach during summer vacation. There was trash littered everywhere and there were several dead birds. I realized that the trash had killed them. Then I founded a group called the AAEPS, or Animal and Environment Protection Society, to protect them.
It started out as a website where you could sign up, donate and write stories about animals. We really didn’t do anything to help animals. I decided that if we got enough donations, I could get a trip to South America to save birds. But that never happened.
Then this year, I updated it a ton. I took out the stories page and added Beach Cleanups, Forest Cleanups, Petitions and a products page, where you can order merchandise t-shirts. It has now accumulated approximately 50 members and is very successful.
We have accomplished a ton with the new petitions. One petition I created for the AAEPS accumulated 300,000 supporters within two weeks. With that wealth of signatures, we shut down a website that offered legal African Elephant and African Lion hunting.
The AAEPS is geared for all ages. Students as young as eight-years-old can sign up (so can adults). You can also sign petitions if you sign up with a valid email address (no troyschools emails allowed). You can also sign up for Beach and Forest Cleanups, or post your own.
By showing up at cleanups, you can make a difference by picking up trash. In a few months, you will be able to download an app I am developing for signing petitions. With one click, signing petitions will get easier.
With ever-expanding goals — and always kid-friendly — the AAEPS is hopefully the right group for you.
Feel free to visit the site at AAEPS.weebly.com