My name is Marley Garrard and I am currently a Junior in high school. Ever since I was five years old, I have loved sharks and have known that I aspired to be a marine biologist. Since then, my love for sharks has only grown.
While working on a math project in eighth grade, I stumbled upon a website for a volunteer shark conservation project in Pacific Harbor, Fiji. It is with a group called Projects Abroad that allows you to work with shark scientists doing real reasearch and conservation. Among other things, volunteers get to go on observation dives, tag baby sharks, and work on mangrove reforestation.
I knew almost immediately that I wanted to participate in the project and after extensive research and a lot of convincing, my parents said that I could go - If I could pay for it. They agreed that if I could get the money for the actual project, then they would pay for the airfare to and from Fiji.
Since then, I have worked extremey hard to earn the money that I need. I got my first job the summer before my freshman year, but have been saving money for much longer than that. I continue to work at a local restaurant. In addition, I babysit whenever I can and I save almost all of the money that I earn. However, because of my schedule (I take all AP and CPA classes and have band almost every day after school in addition to other extracurriculars), I do not have as much time to work as I would like. Because of this, I am worried that I will not make my goal in time for me to go on the trip this summer as I had planned. I currently have about $3,800 that I have saved over the years, but the project costs $5180 and I am trying to save at least $6,000. That way, I will have enough spending money during the four weeks that I will be there.
This project means so much to me and I have worked so hard to make this dream come true. If you could spare anything to help me reach my goal, it would be greatly appreciated. I plan to leave for Fiji in June of 2018, but will need to apply for the program in November to secure my place. Thank you so much!
Here is then link to the project's website, If you would like more information: https://www.projects-abroad.org/volunteer-projects/conservation-and-environment/shark-conservation/volunteer-fiji/#prices
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