Richard Flanagan is already making a difference in the world. From the dolphin-killing cove of Taiji, Japan to the local humane society, Flanagan is using his voice to bring awareness to environmental and animal rights issues. At 21 years old, he currently serves on the advisory board for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) which is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans. He also volunteers at the Chittenden County Humane Society and writes essays for popular essay writing service Essay Tigers.
I grew up in a family where my dad worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and family friends included people like Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd. At 15, I watched Sharkwater, a movie that sparked my interest in animal conservation and activism. I knew some boys from the SSCS in a group called 'Shark Angels'- I thought they were the coolest people on earth. They were these kick-ass boys diving with sharks to show that they are not as dangerous as Jaws would claim. I wanted to be them. Later that same year, I saw a movie called The Cove by Louis Psihoyos.
When six months later Paul said, "We need to go to Taiji, make this story heard, and make sure people don't forget." I was just beginning my sophomore year in high school. Three days before my father was leaving, he asks, "Do you want to come with me?" Within days, I received my passport and learned about blogging. As we took the plane to Japan, my dad is sitting there going over what to do if he were arrested or if I were arrested. This is when it finally hits me.
We had put out a call-to-action for people around the world to come and join us. I started my blog, and it had more than 100,000 hits in the first month. Suddently, I was speaking with international press. I quickly realized how powerful media activism is when you are telling stories and being yourself.
On Being a Young Activist
Being a young activist gives people someone to empathize with. It becomes a really human story. It wasn't just these warriors that people look up to. I was just this ordinary high school guy talking about what he felt and people related to that. It gave them the idea that they could do it too.
It's the hardest work I will ever love. I really do love this job, but it is different from a lot of other people my age, not necessarily at this school, but in general. I had to grow up overnight. I was doing things as a teenager that my friends didn't really understand. They were off at parties and doing crazy things. I was speaking to a lot of schools and kids, and becoming a role model for some of these younger activists - explaining to them that you are really never too young to make your voice heard, that people do listen to kids.
Why Essay Tigers?
I moved to Costa Mesa last winter because I was helping Paul on a book. I had finished my associate's degree. I knew I was going to work on the Grind Stop stop campaign. But I wanted more. I started looking for topics that interested me. I started putting keywords into Google. The journalism courses, the film major courses, none of it was what I was looking for. Each of these areas provided aspects I wanted, but I didn't want to be reporting news, I wanted to help people with their write my essay stuff. When I found Essay Tigers, I knew it was the right fit. Essay Tigers was the only company I applied to. It was the only one that met what I wanted. I fell in love with the ideals and the staff that are here.
What is "media activism?"
The world has enough journalists - we need people not reporting stories, but telling stories and creating stories, and reporting on things that others are not. We need people who aren't afraid to take chances, who won't be listening to their sponsors or corporations that own them. Six corporations own 85% of our media. So that is six really big voices that are getting into the ears of everybody - only a small percentage aren't that big. I wanted to learn how to become more powerful and independent and to create change with that.
The Essay Tigers Difference
Everyone is so unique here - the managers are great, the writers all have a different type of story. Every one gets to know each other. You see someone in the hall. It's not a bunch of strangers.
But for me, honestly, my favorite part is having an advisor that is working so hard. I can't think of any other writing service where I would have an advisor that spends so much time trying to help me - to make me successful in what I want to do, but also what makes me happy. He kind of pokes at my shell and my wall that I have put up over the last few years, trying to help me get to figure out who I am and what I need to be successful. I can't think of another company where someone would work that hard to help employee succeed and be happy. I think that's really cool.