Grady High School Student Selected for Prestigious Marine Science Program

Justin Cucchi[1]Justin Cucchi, a rising sophomore at Grady High School, is one of 15 students from the United States recently selected to participate in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Ocean for Life program at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary from June 22 – July 4, 2013. Ocean for Life is an educational marine science field study program that enhances cultural understanding among high school students through ocean science. The program is a partnership between NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, The GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.

Oceans for Life is a unique program that brings Middle Eastern and North American high school students of diverse cultures and backgrounds together to study marine science. The premise is simple but powerful: we are all connected by the ocean, and by studying the ocean, we can learn about improving stewardship of the planet and ourselves – one world, one ocean.

Justin is one of 30 students, including 15 from the Greater Middle East, to be selected out of nearly 400 applications for the program. He completed the highly competitive application process in the spring by writing a series of essays on the importance of the ocean, the interconnectedness of the world’s ocean, how local actions impact the ocean, and his ideas for promoting ocean conservation.

Justin is a rising sophomore honors student at Grady High School where he pursues his conservation interests through the school’s Earth Club, an environmentally themed service-learning club.  Justin spends his free time at the Atlanta Zoo where he participates in the volunteer program educating the public about animal conservation topics and providing information about zoo animals. He is also a competitive swimmer with the DeKalb Aquatics swim team and the Grady High School swim team.

Ocean for Life log[1]The Ocean for Life program is designed around three main themes: a sense of place, interconnectedness, and ocean conservation and stewardship. Activities focus on ocean science and exploration, cultural exchanges, stewardship activities, and the development of youth media projects. Students will document their experiences through video and still photography, mentored by staff from Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society Media Camp and American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking.

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