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045 | making sure sea turtles last with love a sea turtle | with dan sokolovic & brittany turner

045 | Making Sure Sea Turtles Last with Love A Sea Turtle | with Dan Sokolovic & Brittany Turner

On Learning Unboxed, we like to share case studies of the projects and programs that are revolutionizing education; great new ideas that have already been tested, the lessons that we’ve learned along the way, and where there are opportunities for other communities to do similar things as they think about education. 

On this episode of Learning Unboxed we are sharing the story of an organization located in North Carolina called Love A Sea Turtle (LAST). A non-profit organization started by an 8 year old girl with a passion to help sea turtles last.

To tell us all about the organization we have Dan Sokolovic, the father of the founder of LAST. He was with the organization from the very start, helping his daughter, along every step of the way. Joining Dan is Brittany Turner, a student leader who joined LAST 5 years ago, fell in love with the program and now wants to start a youth advocacy initiative called Youth Explorers. For the past 2 years she has been one of the program directors helping in a number of different capacities.

LAST is an organization with non-traditional year-round programs providing access to leadership development, experimental hands-on STEM activities, and focused on ocean conservation and educational outreach. LAST is largely student-led, giving students the opportunity to lead and find their voice. Youth leaders create, organize and run programs based on their passions. One of the programs, “Keep your Bottom Clean”, is a conservation initiative that was started by youth divers. They took their love for diving and decided to use it to help the environment. The group part of the initiative has now collected over 5,000lbs of trash from nearby oceans and rivers. 

We unbox:

  • Getting started in small ways, however you can right now
  • Running a non-profit
  • Being student-led and adult-advised
  • Taking a program beyond the person who started it
  • Bringing these programs into your local area
  • Standard-aligned programming
  • Iterating a program over years
  • Advice for getting a program/non-profit started
  • Getting people to care

Resources: