Michelle is a South Florida native who grew up on five acres in western Palm Beach County bordering the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge. This proximity to the Everglades sparked curiosity and a deep connection that continues to fuel her passion for Florida’s environment and natural resources. She spent weekends exploring this range of cypress swamp, collecting and identifying specimens, fishing, camping and observing abundant wildlife in their unspoiled habitats.
She volunteered as a Wildlife Educator at Folke Peterson Wildlife Center in Wellington focusing on presentations and handling rescued wildlife ambassadors deemed non-releasable. Michelle has a background in event coordination, promotion, fundraising, organizational strategy and planning. She has an awareness and sensitivity to environmental challenges and an ability to motivate stakeholders to be excited to embrace their role in securing healthy, stable environments. She recently added scuba and lifeguard certifications to her portfolio. She also enjoys kayaking and hiking in nature areas.
Her most rewarding interactions involve engaging people in hands-on, immersive eco-tours and eco-action field trips with emphasis on recognizing biodiversity and our impacts on the interrelationship and interconnectedness of our natural systems. Through her role at YEA, Michelle’s goal is to imprint knowledge and understanding that interdisciplinary and holistic concern for nature should motivate everyone to improve environmental quality. Nature connects, and we should all feel empowered to promote successful protection of our natural areas through conservation themes and sustainable practices.