Mangrove Education and Restoration Program Blog
A guest blog by Marsden Palmer of Grade 10 Science at William Knibb Memorial High School, Jamaica and participant in the Jamaican Awareness of Mangroves in Nature (J.A.M.I.N.) program.
For the past three years at William Knibb Memorial High School, I thought I was unable to achieve greatness. Entering into the fourth year I found myself participating in the school’s annual Open Day and Health Fair.
Open Day is the school’s annual function where the different departments mount displays on their area of focus to strengthen the department and the school. Open Day grants students the opportunity to share their work and to speak about it to different individuals.
Group photo of students and teachers who participated in Open Day. Marsden is in the top row, second person to the right.
On Open Day I was among other students who talked about the JAMIN program. I gathered my information after being taught by Ms. Amy, Mrs. Nugent and Mr. Trench. For the first time in my life I was doing something with a purpose, sharing information! At the moment of my presentation, my heart raced, not of nervousness but of joy. I was to present the information to students, teachers, visitors and the principal. Like a feather swaying back and forth in the wind, I held my head high and I didn’t stop for a minute. My father always say ‘Son you’re made for greatness’; I didn’t believe him until now.
My tone, excitement and enthusiasm, combined with the information, caused persons to stay in the room for hours as they were empowered and entrapped.
Marsden teaching about mangrove food webs.
I was selected to present on corals but my drive and the desires of my heart led me to speak on mangroves. Different individuals were amazed and a small percentage felt crushed, as my presentation indicated to them that they were a part of the destruction of these mangroves. My entire body and soul went into the presentation enabling me to impart the knowledge with confidence. Knowing that my heart was there, even tears. This presentation has granted me the opportunity to pursue my career as an ambassador for protection of our mangrove forest.
Marsden (between ladies) tasting the black mangrove leaf on our mangrove ecosystem field trip.
Standing all day presenting, no rest, no food, only a bottle of water earned me comments that made tears came to my eyes. I felt important and wanted for the first time in my life. Commendations came from the principal, teachers and students. The principal stated, ‘Very impressive, great job!’ Afterwards two teachers stated ‘You are well informed about mangroves and sea creatures.’
Marsden (far right) tagging mangrove seedlings before the students at William Knibb High School plant them.
Two students mentioned, ‘It was fun and informative.’ At first they will ask why you are doing it. Later they will ask how you did it.
The Science Department and the JAMIN program has helped me to understand that it is alright to be different and to learn about things that matter. It was said by Winston Churchill ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is courage to continue that counts.’
Marsden receiving Certificate of Participation for the JAMIN program from the Foundation’s Director of Education.
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