WHO I AM.
I have always loved animals, but it was not until the Covid pandemic canceled my basketball practices and games at my high school, International High School, that I began to devote time and energy to orangutan conservation. The reason I decided to study and work in the area of animal conservation is that I felt that we humans are destroying so many incredible species on the earth that it would be a shame if there was nothing I could do to help. The reason I selected orangutans as an area focus is that I have always loved great apes and how close they are to homo sapiens. I narrowed it down to orangutans after discovering how terribly endangered they have become.
The first thing I did was research. I learned amazing and tragic information about orangutans. What is amazing about them is that this species is so closely related to us humans. Orangutans share 97% of our DNA, and mothers develop a close lifelong bond with their children. What is tragic is that their numbers are rapidly declining due to the palm oil industry's use of deforestation as well as the terrible illegal pet trade. This breaks my heart, and I want to play my small role in aiding this incredible species.
I truly fell in love with orangutans so I decided to do two things next. One was to make a contribution of money to an impactful orangutan conservation organization. The second was to provide education to others about how important it is that we human beings take action to help orangutans. To educate others, I created a short animated video called "10 Cool Facts About Orangutans," started this website, and I also gave presentations to elementary school children.
These were amazing experiences for me because for the first time in my life I was able to play the role of an educator on a topic that I feel passionately about. I was able to teach others a bit about a beautiful animal that is unfortunately at risk.
The next exciting turn in my journey in orangutan conservation was to land an internship at the Gunung Palung Orangutan Project under the supervision of Dr. Cheryl Knott, the founder of the organization, and program coordinator Natalie Robinson. They brought me on board to help with graphic design, reworking my animated video, compiling articles, and fundraising, among other things.
The Gunung Palung Orangutan Project (GPOP) is one of the most important orangutan conservation organizations in the world. Click here to learn more about what they do.
I am still fundraising for GPOP so please help out! Click here to make a donation. No amount is too small, and no amount is too big. Please just give something.
Also, I am available to give Zoom presentations on orangutans and orangutan conservation to anyone of any age at any time. I especially enjoy to present to elementary and middle school students. Just reach out to schedule a time.