Who I am and My Mission in Conservation 

    Hello everyone! I'm David Couto, leader of my own Roots & Shoots, founded by Dr. Jane Goodall. Since I was a child, I have always loved the natural environment. When I was younger, I would sit down with my mother and watch the Discovery Channel, loving everything I saw. From documentaries on giant squids, to documentaries on Bengal tigers, I loved them all. My mother taught me so many things about nature. She loved it, and until this day, still does. She contributed to this life-long journey of mine of wanting to protect one of things I love the most: nature.  I am truly grateful to have the mother I have.

    I grew up in Newark, NJ. I attended school at  Oliver. Growing up in Newark shaped who I am. The
school was not huge, and everyone could give you special attention. They were always kind. I built strong friendships. However, after I moved, I realized just how polluted Newark was. I moved to an area filled with nature afterwards. I began to visit nature reserves and parks and fell in love with the area.

    Another inspiration, which truly motivated me to become a conservationist, was my 9-year-old bother, Michael. One day he came up to me and said, "Guess what? My teacher knows Jane Goodall!" And from there, it all began.

     Today I look at the world, and you look at the world, and we can all see how horrible it really is. Wars, violence, drugs, diseases, deforestation and many other factors make this current planet of ours a very unfriendly place. But Imagine a world where peace was possible. Where children did not have to suffer at the cost of greed and violence. Where starvation was a thing of the past, and where nature and man could co-exist harmoniously. I believe that this is possible. If we work together, much like bees work together to keep their hive from falling apart, then I believe that we can keep our planet from falling apart. We can make a difference, and we will, but only if we try. So, please help me, your friends, help everyone to change our planet. It will take some time, and be hard as well, but if we strive to change our home, I promise you that we WILL make a difference because an act of goodness, no matter how small, when added to all the other acts of goodness in the world, goes a long way.