Q&A with award-winning Seattle Aquarium teen volunteer Rachel Kahn

Rachel Kahn

Rachel Kahn, a participant in our recent Creativity in Conservation (CIC) program, didn’t have a lot of videography experience—but she won first prize in a contest sponsored by The Campaign for a Toxin-Free Generation with a simple, powerful video entitled “Do Fish a Favor.”

A teen volunteer and active member of the Puget Sound: We Love You campaign, Rachel created three projects for the CIC program (including a video). She’s entering college this fall and plans to pursue a career in marine biology.

Q: What was it like to combine creativity with conservation in your two video projects?

A: I think that creativity and conservation go hand-in-hand. The most effective way to inspire anything is to present it in a creative and memorable way.

Q: What kinds of conservation messages do you think are most effective in getting people to think and take action?

A: I think people need more than just statistics to be inspired to take action. The most effective conservation messages are the ones that people can relate to, and conservation messages that evoke some sort of emotion.

Q: What would you tell other teens about the importance of caring for the marine environment?

A: The ocean is changing (not in a good way), and it’s changing quickly. Teenagers have the greatest potential of any group of people to make and inspire change. A lot of the problems that the ocean is facing now didn’t exist when our parents were our age, so it will be difficult to make progress unless we educate our elders. If teenagers got in the habit of protecting the marine environment now, they will grow up to be environmentally conscious adults.

Q: What do you think makes programs like CIC, PS: We Love You and the Aquarium’s high school volunteer program valuable?

A: They’re valuable because they take young people who want to make a difference and teach them how. Programs like these can turn an interest into a passion.

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