Megan Kilroy is not just another senior at the Santa Monica High School. The Teen Nick HALO Awards knocked on her door this December recognizing Kilroy’s unique environmental and marine advocacy efforts.
Kilroy was one of four awesome teens that were rewarded for doing good in their community by stars such as Hayden Panettiere, Justin Timberlake and Nick Canon, founder of the HALO Awards show. With a love for marine biology and the ocean, Kilroy is on a self-declared mission to share her passion and the issues of our global crisis with the world.
The award was given out to philanthropic teens across the country for different types of community service. “It’s really great because I am the only one that was rewarded for environmental work. Now I have the ability to spread the message farther. I had people contact me asking how can I get involved saying ‘I had no idea plastics bags are bad for the ocean’,” said Kilroy.
It took Kilroy one marine biology class to become the first appointed Team Marine captain, a group of students at the Santa Monica High School that work hard to educate their community about the global climate and marine debris crisis. “I said this is perfect, I have to get involved and have been doing it for two years now,” said Kilroy.
“Team Marine goes out and teaches kids about living sustainably. We do demonstrations, marches, distribute reusable bags, testify at city halls and clean the beaches. We’re working on a documentary about urban runoff. We try to educate and activate environmental awareness,” said K.
Growing up in Santa Monica City and having a lifeguard father many of her childhood days were spent at the beach. “As I grew older I started noticing more and more plastic and trash on our beaches,” said Kilroy.
Kilroy and the team have one wish: to see plastic bags banned one day. “Getting plastic bags while at the grocery store is a moment’s decision: paper or plastic? Right then people don’t realize the damaging effects towards our environment that plastic bags create. With only 5% of plastic bags being recycled, it becomes hard on our environment as plastic never truly goes away, even if it goes out into the ocean,” said Kilroy.
Kilroy’s favorite subject in school happens to be history as we learn from our parents mistakes and aim to change our environment for the better. “I find education to be a pathway to action. I would like to get as many people involved, educated and aware about our environmental issues. The more you know, the more you do and the more you think”.
Kilroy would like to invest her multiple efforts of environmental advocacy in a life’s work. When entering college next year majoring in environmental studies sounds like the perfect plan. “This is where the world is going and if we’re going to save the planet we need more people out there to be committed and make this a life’s work,” said Kilroy.