Meet Our Ambassadors: Anela McMichael
By KCI Youth Ambassador Anela McMichael
My name is Anela McMichael, and I have recently joined KCI as an ambassador. I am currently a senior at Kennebunk High School. In the fall I will be attending the University of New England with a major in Marine Science/Marine Biology. For many young adults approaching college, choosing a major is a difficult decision. However, this wasn’t the case for me. I knew right off the bat that I was passionate about the environment (specifically the ocean) and climate change, and that I wanted my studies to take me down that road.
My passion for the environment started at a young age. I would say that my climate change journey was more of an upbringing, from the very beginning I was raised to appreciate nature. I spent many long days at the beach. Chasing crabs around tide pools, squealing in delight as the slimy skin of a starfish touched my hands. I have endless memories of camping trips, hikes, snowboarding, riding horses, and family adventures that have helped me to form a great appreciation for the environment.
“As I see it, we can either wait for someone to guide the way or learn to channel our own voices and advocate for what we feel is important.”
As long as my memory reaches, the surfing lifestyle has been the sun of my family’s universe. Around the age of 5, my Dad began bringing me into the shore break on my pink soft top board. Growing up as a surfer, I became quickly acquainted with the threats that are facing the ocean due to human action. Many times I have shoved plastic bags into my wetsuit saving them for the trash can after my session. Litter is one of the most visible effects that humans have on the planet, to the naked eye. From a young age, I would insist on carrying garbage for miles simply because I felt a pang of deep guilt to leave it behind. I’ve witnessed changes in storm patterns, specifically in ocean swells. I’ve personally noticed a lack of snowfall not only in Maine but all over New England. I’ve become aware of quickly approaching issues such as sea-level rise and the threats that it poses on our communities. This list of issues is long and overwhelming, however, the solution is simple, it starts with us.
I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work with the amazing people at KCI. I feel that KCI will give me the ability to make connections with people all over the globe. As a KCI ambassador, I want to continue to be involved in climate action, because it is essential for the future. I want to take part in educating all of those who do not yet have the knowledge that they need about our environment. As I see it, we can either wait for someone to guide the way or learn to channel our own voices and advocate for what we feel is important.