Kid of the Year!

The news is out and I am happy to announce I have been nominated and named in the top 5 for Time Magazine & Nickelodeon’s Kid of the Year! This is such a huge honor and I want to thank everyone who has taken time to help me along the way. I wouldn’t be here without my amazing family and friends who have always let me explore my passion and helped me in so many ways.

This won’t change my work or my motivation, actually, it will make me push even harder knowing people see what I’m doing and that I can make a difference.

Yearly wrap up

This year has been busy but so fun! I’ve been scuba diving several times with my best friends! (Does it really get any better than that?!)

I have removed about 4,000 more pounds of trash bringing the total to 14,000! I hit the 1 ton mark in aluminum recycling! Ella & I won a few awards but best of all…. we were able to be together and meet Sylvia Earle!!!!

Stay tuned for next year….. it’s going to start off with a bang.

1 TON!

A few weeks ago, after almost a year of work on aluminum can recycling , I hit the 1 TON mark! I keep track of how many pounds each time I take them to be recycled and it took 10 months to recycle 1 ton of aluminum.

The cans I pick up are from Play.Wash.Pint. A local dog play park where people meet, gather, hang out and their dogs can play in a safe space. This Business hated to see all of this potential just to the trash so I partnered with them and pick up all their aluminum and some plastic for recycling. The money I make from these cans goes to make my monofilament bins that are placed along the Tennessee River. There are now 17 out and I couldn’t have done it without this partnership. If you have an idea, and don’t know where to start or how to find it, look in the trash, who knows, you may find an idea? And you can help the planet too!

Winter the Dolphin

This morning I woke up to the news Winter the dolphin that has been at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium has died. This hurt my heart so much. I had the great pleasure to see Winter more than once and her story really touched me.

She was injured by a crab trap that was left behind and she was entangled causing irreversible damage to her tail which ended up having to be amputated. She was found and cared for by the amazing team at Clearwater Marine Hospital.

Their motto is rescue, rehab and release but a dolphin missing her entire tail flukes, is obviously unreleasable so that’s where she stayed for 16 years. So many people heard her story and connected with her on such a deep level. She touched so many human lives than and truly changed hearts towards ocean animals.

Winter was harmed by humans and was forced to be removed from her home but on the other hand, humans saved her and took amazing care of her so we learned humans can make things better and do our part to care for our wildlife. We can do better. We can come together and make an impact for good. Let’s do something today for Winter!

Go Blue Award

Ella & I were finalists for the Go Blue Award with Loggerhead Marine life Center. The Cleanup Kids is focused on cleaning up the planet of trash, plastic, bullying, air pollution, noise and and other for of pollution to make this planet better.

The keynote speaker was Sylvia Earle and hearing her speak was incredible. I had chills the whole time being in the presence of “Her Deepness”.

Although Ella & I didn’t win, we are all winners because we met and spoke with so many amazing ocean conservationists who inspire us and now we are more ready than ever to keep going and move forward with our work to make this world a better place.

Busy busy busy…..

This month has been super busy and it doesn’t look like next month is going to lighten up. I’m not complaining, I LOVE it. I love being able to raise more and more awareness for our great planet, for our waterways and our wildlife.

I was able to visit Yellowstone National Park as well as Grand Teton National Park and be immersed in wildlife and nature and it was such a beautiful time! Moose, Bear, Wolves, and Bison were all on my list and I saw all of them.

Ella & I, as The Cleanup Kids, were honored to be named in the top 25 for the prestigious Gloria Barron Prize for young heroes. When we hear if being just nominated for these awards, it confirms we are making a difference and our voices are being heard.

The same day, we also learned we are finalists for the GoBlue awards with the Loggerhead Marine Center in Florida. Ella & I have both been there and researched sea turtles and have even done full videos on turtles if you want to check it out in our YouTube channel.

I also have some other things in the works that I can’t say yet but it’s turning out to be an exciting year and I am so thankful for the support of my parents as well as the people who have given so much to help me learn and grow and pursue ocean and river conservation.

I know I’m just a kid, but we can make a difference! We can and WILL change the world!

Sammie Smiles Podcast

I did my first podcast interview and it happens to be with my friend and fellow Prudential spirit of community award winner. Go check it out and let m know what you think!

YouTube: https://youtu.be/AdQOySpgonQ

Apple podcast

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/sammie-smiles/id1536338801?i=1000527870083

 

Spotify

https://open.spotify.com/episode/1FLq6bNiINA6982pEIdjQY?si=Vwiw5gqMTSqyRS5mnShZEA&dl_branch=1

President’s Volunteer Service Award.

I was shocked and surprised to be a recipient of this prestigious award. Volunteering, cleaning our planet of pollution is what makes me feel accomplished and I don’t do it for the awards or accolades but this one will be framed and I am proud of it. Just remember, anyone can make a difference!

Mananalu Water!

This article is from Mananula which is owned by Jason Mamoa who played Aquaman and is such an amazing strong voice for saving our oceans. It’s such an honor to be highlighted by such an amazing company!

https://www.mananalu.com/blogs/news/how-one-11-year-old-is-cleaning-up-our-oceans-from-tennessee

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards!

I was named as a state honoree for the state of Tennessee. Each state had 1 honoree for high school level and 1 for middle school level from each state. After a long weekend of zoom calls and meeting other state honorees, they named 10 national honorees. There were some amazing youth doing wonderful things and I was happy to be among those 100 kids recognized but my weekend got even more amazing when I was named one the top 10!!!!

Check out the link below! This is such an amazing honor and I am more than thrilled but humbled to represent Tennessee in the best way!

https://spirit.prudential.com/honoree/2021/cash-daniels