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My name is Halina Takahashi. I am half Polish and half Japanese but I was born in Miami. I have lived in Palmetto Bay all my life. Staying healthy and active is one of my family’s core values. Therefore, sports have always been a part of my life, as a kid I would often play tennis with my father. I think I have always known that athletics would be important to me as I grew up. I am involved in several different sports. In school, I take part in the cross country and track and field, and out of school I horseback ride. Due to the fact that I was born and raised in Miami, the ocean being ever present, I quickly became aware of the pollution issues that we face today. While growing up, I spent a lot of my time outdoors. Regularly visiting my cabin in North Carolina encouraged me to explore my surroundings even further. The lush forests and wildlife in the area, in addition to visiting numerous state parks in the area sparked my interest in wildlife and the environment. Besides spending much of my time outdoors, I would also frequently watch animal planet. This added fuel to my passion of wildlife and wildlife conservation. I was also an avid reader of the Ranger Rick and Nat Geo Kids magazines. These early habits shaped my passions that I continue to carry with me today.
Growing up in an area that is surrounded by the ocean, I realized it’s impossible come across a beach without some form of trash that someone haphazardly threw. Going to the beach and having to continually see this happening inspired me to want to improve upon the situation. Another experience which shaped my passions occurred last summer when I witnessed sea turtles coming ashore the beaches to lay their eggs. Before this, I had never seen a sea turtle up close, and knowing that nearly all species of sea turtles are classified as endangered made this particularly special. Watching the turtles go about their business of laying their eggs and digging their nests helped me come to the realization that that we have to protect these remarkable animals so everyone can have the opportunity to see them in their natural habitat.
The experiences that I have been a part of in my life in addition to where I grew up constructed my passions and helped to shape the kind of person that I am today. My motivation along with my focused and creative nature gives me the power to be able to improve upon a situation in our community. I believe that my drive and ambition in conjunction with my passion for the environment and wildlife make me an Agent of Change.