Middle school student Kiara Rodriguez tells facilitator Amber Noble about her passion for preserving the natural world.


AN: How does that make you feel knowing that there are endangered animals like turtles and stuff?

KR: Well my family and I are doing this—I made it up; it’s a report.  At my school they have a link and it says all the endangered animals from each continent. And I told my family, “Pick one from Africa” because that has the most, and I told them, “Write a little report”—my brother’s doing one with my mom—and write a little report about each one. I picked the mountain zebra. I think my mom and my brother picked the cheetah, and I think my dad picked an aye-aye. It’s like a monkey thing. I’m guessing it’s on Madagascar.

AN: OK, so y’all are writing about what endangered means and what it means for the animal?

KR: Yeah, and like pictures and stuff. I just think it’ll be good because one day I might bring it somewhere and I might show it to people to make it a law that some animals aren’t really protected by the law yet. They think, “Oh it’s fine,” but like pandas, they’re like protected by the law and so are Tasmanian devils. But some animals aren’t as lucky and they don’t get to be protected. 

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