Apr 15, 2011

Sharisse Rivera
Village: Garapan, Saipan CNMI
From a family of: 4
School and area of study: AA in Natural Resources Management & AS in Nursing from Northern Marianas College.
In my family, I am known as the: Dreamer
Favorite non-academic activity: Photography
I am really good at: Photographing panoramic nature landscapes around me. I am also a good classical guitar player.
Career path: I am currently finishing my AA in Natural Resources Management and would like to further my studies and get my bachelors. After school I hope to find a job in the CNMI and apply the knowledge I gained from school.
How did you become aware of the Micronesia Challenge Young Champions: I was a summer intern at the CNMI Division of Environmental uality when I heard about an opening for an MC Young Champion. My mentor mentioned it to me and encouraged me to apply for the position.
As a Young Champion, what do you hope to achieve: I hope to increase the awareness of the community on the environmental issues we are currently encountering and the different ways we can help protect it. The CNMI has a vast number of species, both terrestrial and marine, and I would like to help save and protect them from becoming extinct.
How have you noticed your village and island has changed in terms of the environment and sea? When I was 7 years old my parents would bring me to the shores of Saipan and go for a swim. I was so ebullient about the number of fishes I could see all around me. It would take me about 100 steps to get to the water. Nowadays, I can be in the water after 3 steps from parking my car. The ocean has a lot of trash around and there are few corals and fishes. All I can see is sand and algae. Also, i sued to see fruit bats flying around the tourists spots around the island; unfortunately, they have become endangered in the CNMI.
Are you working on any special projects right now? The special project I worked on was an activity book for the kids in the 3rd to 6th grades. The activity book is entitled, "Take the Challenge: Discover CNMI's Land and Marine Natural Resources."

View Sharisse's project.

Read about Sharisse's work in the Saipan Tribune.

Photo note: Sharisse is shown photographing the site of re-vegitation efforts to reduce soil erosion at Laolao Bay, Saipan. The area is the recipient of a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.