I grew up on a sailboat in the US Virgin Islands and spent a lot of my time getting sunburnt in the water or on the beach. My brother and sister were always there to go on adventures with and we spent countless hours snorkeling over the reefs or selling coconuts to tourists. As I got into my teens, I noticed that the reefs I grew up with were no longer as vibrant as they used to be - many large coral colonies had died and become overgrown with algae. As a homeschooler without internet, I had trouble learning about the cause of this loss. Luckily the University of the Virgin Islands sponsored many educational summer camps at the Virgin Islands Environmental Research Station (VIERS). At VIERS teachers and graduate students taught me that this degradation came from warming oceans, overfishing, and many other environmental factors. Since then, I've been pursuing higher education, researching coral degradation, and hope to one day make a difference for reefs worldwide.