Kate is not one to back away from a challenge.
While some teens see summer vacation as a well-deserved break, Kate saw it as an opportunity to make a difference. A long-time ocean lover, Kate learned about the problems facing our ocean and decided to do something about it. Over the course of three months, Kate completed 1,800 pull ups in honor of more than 1,800 square miles of ocean polluted by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska.
Her Raise the Bar initiative brings together her two passions, pulls ups and the ocean, in a somewhat unusual but creative combination. As a result, she raised hundreds of dollars to support Ocean Conservancy’s mission to create a healthier, more sustainable ocean.
We were lucky enough to be able to sit down with Kate to learn more about the inspiration behind her Raise the Bar initiative.
Ocean Conservancy: What inspired you to start Raise the Bar?
Kate: My inspiration to start Raise the Bar came from simple boredom over the summer. I found myself going to Crossfit every morning but spending my afternoons with nothing to do. That is when I decided I wanted to spend my summer making a difference. I decided to combine my two passions, my love for ocean life and for doing pull ups. Putting them together seemed like the makings of a great fundraiser.
OC: How did you discover your passion for the ocean?
Kate: My passion for the ocean began at a young age. It all started with a love of sharks. When I learned about shark fin soup, I knew wanted to stop it, but I realized it would be hard to get a lot of people to donate for that issue alone. As I researched sharks, I learned more about the ocean and its problems.
My dad and brother encouraged me start scuba diving at the earliest possible age of ten. I was nervous at first, but when all was said and done, I loved it! It was so calming and the fish and coral were amazing. At the age of 13, I saved enough money to buy a saltwater fish tank so I could bring the ocean I loved into my home. At the age of 14, I decided to fundraise for the ocean because I wanted to keep it going.
OC: What do you hope your donors and followers take away from this experience?
Kate: When I started Raise the Bar, I just wanted to raise money for the ocean; however, as I continued, I wanted people to care. I wanted my followers to learn that there are problems with our ocean and if we do not help, bad things are going to happen. Even if people did not donate, I found myself promoting the ocean to them and showing everything they can do to help.
From all of us at Ocean Conservancy, we’d like to say a BIG THANKS to Kate for all of her hard work and dedication!