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DIVING IN Manon Amapola del Vecchio, a rising sophomore at Lamar High School, loves the ocean and is a certified scuba diver.
As long as I have been in school, I’ve always been asked what I want to be when I grow up, and since third grade, it’s been marine biologist. The vast ocean, which is home to millions of different species we are yet to discover, has always been an intrigue of mine.
Although we’ve had access to the sea forever, it has been less discovered than outer space, which we’ve only been exploring for about 60 years. This lack of exploration is a driving factor of my continuously growing passion for our mysterious neighbor.
After years of my steady interest in the exploration of our ocean, I’ve refined my love for the conservation and rehabilitation of our underwater ecosystems. A couple of years ago, I became a certified scuba diver and fell even more in love with our underwater world. Being able to glide through the water for such a long time is a feeling I can only describe as bliss. It’s a breathtaking experience; watching schools of fish interact with others and catching a glimpse of a stealthy octopus is not only beautiful but exciting! The very first time I broke the surface of the ocean, I was taken back by the icy cold water and the colorful scenery. I felt so free, as if I was one with the ocean.
The water has always been a place where I feel most at peace, and I wish I could tell you why, but it’s my calling. Although this experience is one I would recommend to anyone, it’s one that might not be as alluring in a few years due to the rising temperatures that are damaging the stunning life of these underwater residents.
I feel like my passion isn’t a common one; most people I talk to are looking to get rich when they can, but I’m focused on changing the wrongdoings that have been detrimental to our ocean’s inhabitants. And I will work all my life to make this happen.
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