OPAK Youth Ambassador Brendan Hosts Fishing Derby to Protect Our Oceans

Brendan is an 8th grader at Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter School. He's in the final stages of a multi-year (starts in 7th grade) Capstone project. Students are asked to think of a service learning project that is important to them and their family. They then write an action plan which gets approved each step of the way by their advisors. More on Capstone.

Brendan has a love for the ocean and enjoys fishing any chance he can get. He fishes both fresh and salt water. He knew he wanted to find an organization that helps the marine environment for future fishing enthusiasts! We discovered OPAK (Ocean Protection Advocacy Kids) and he decided to dive in to help them! Melanie Colby and Jeffrey Morgan embraced his project. 

He set three goals for his project. Public speaking, to raise awareness and to learn more about protecting the marine environments. 

  • Brendan first met with Jeffrey at a local Starbucks to learn more about the company.

  • He held a "dry run" Fishing Derby (very impromptu) in the spring of 2018 to get his feet wet and have a better understanding of what he would need for the larger derby in the fall. 

  • He conquered his first public speaking action item  - be a mystery reader in his sister's 4th grade classroom  :) 

  • He attended an OPAK summer workshop in Chatham learning about the dangers of plastics in our ocean. He also led a small group during this workshop and had more public speaking opportunities. 

  • He contacted Medway Community Cable to shoot a promo video for his fishing derby to be broadcasted/shared over facebook.

  • The culmination was the fishing derby this past Sunday (Sept 23rd) . It ran from 8-10am. We had approximately 50 participants. He raised $500 so far which will be donated to OPAK and be put towards a high school workshop for a school district in need. There were Medway Community Fishing T-shirts handed out  - Karl Infanger runs this club and was a helpful resource fro Brendan, Bass Pro Gift cards given out to the first fish caught in the first hour and the second hour. As well as, a gift card for the most fish caught over 2 hours. 

Brendan even made a promotional video for the event: https://twitter.com/medwaycable/status/1041764935074828296

The story also made his local newspaper: https://www.franklinmatters.org/search?q=opak

Brendan and Melanie (OPAK Co-Founder) get ready for the Fishing Derby!

Brendan and Melanie (OPAK Co-Founder) get ready for the Fishing Derby!

Jeffrey Morgan