2016 Nominee | MEG KIKKERI
Meg Kikkeri has excelled as a young leader since she joined TCL in 2012. She continuously seeks opportunities that add to her depth of knowledge and experience in marine education and conservation. Meg’s contributions exceed the high standards set for her and her efforts exemplify her commitment to continuous learning, education, and community service. Meg is often sought out by our Education staff to participate in various outreach events, where she shares her knowledge of the ocean and her passion for science and conservation.
Volunteer roles with the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Teen Conservation Leaders Program (TCL) volunteer program – 714 hours
- Camp Track Summer 2012 – assisted with the Young Women in Science (YWS) camp program by leading and mentoring a group of six middle school-aged girls.
- Teen Techs 2012-present: Accrued over 200 hours of husbandry experience by working behind-the-scenes with Discovery Lab Animal Technicians to care for over thirty different species of marine invertebrates, fish, zooplankton, and turtles. Also supervised and mentored first year students as a Senior Animal Technician.
- Camp Track Coach Summer 2013: Led and trained new TCL students to become successful leaders and advocates for ocean conservation during the Young Women in Science program.
- Aquarium Guide 2013 –present: interpreted Aquarium exhibits and engaged with guests of all ages and backgrounds in topics including kelp forest diversity and ocean conservation by facilitating science-based activities, touch tanks, sleepovers and special tours.
- Sleepovers 2014 – 2015
- Husbandry 2014 - 2015
In addition to her involvement at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Meg serves the community in many ways. She is a Student Director for the Angels on Stage program in Sunnyville. The program enhances the lives of children and young adults with special needs by breaking down stereotypes and empowering them to develop friendships, independence, confidence, self-esteem and general life skills through the medium of professional performing arts. In her role, Meg interacts with the participants by helping them with choreography, singing and directing performances. She also develops workshops and trainings for other teen volunteers to ensure successful relationships with the participants.
Additionally, during the summer of 2014 Meg was a Volunteer Intern at Woods Hole Science Aquarium where she assisted with husbandry duties and exhibit interpretation in a highly scientific community.
Meg is also an Animal Care Volunteer at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito where she works hands on with marine mammals in the facilities.
Other volunteer activities include:
- Workshop delivery at Expanding Your Horizons
- Volunteer with Shared Adventures: A non-profit for kids with special needs. Meg helps with “Kayaking Days” and "Day at the Beach" events as a paddler where she takes participants into open ocean waters in a tandem kayak to tell them about the ocean life.
- Via West: A residential "camp" for kids and adults with special needs. These sessions can run from 3 days to a week. Meg cares for assigned participants for the duration of that session: feeding, showering, brushing teeth, changing, playing, doing activities etc. Their disabilities can range from Asperger’s to sever cerebral palsy.
- JW House: Housing to keep families together during medical crises by offering a welcoming home close to the hospital and providing a caring and compassionate environment that inspires hope. When Meg was in second grade she organized fundraising events to assist with the construction of this housing project. She now volunteers to cook dinners for residents.