Nikela Volunteer Jessica Immelman visited Shannon’s Raptor Center, Bearded Vulture program and produced World Rhino Day video “The Rhino’s Song” with Alex Rodel and Warren Freimond.
It was in March of this year that Jess and I connected via Twitter. We exchanged a few emails, chatted on Skype and I was delighted by her skills and offer to help.
To date Jess has:
Counseled Nikela on getting more widely recognized
Produced a thought provoking, gentle video with her team titled “The Rhino’s Song” which will be released on September 22, 2012… this year’s World Rhino Day.
It is with great pleasure that we feature Jess in our Wonderful People Wednesday series:
Wonderful People Wednesday – Jessica Immelman
Jessica Immelman, heart, passion, skill and focus is what she brings to the cause to protect African endangered and threatened wildlife, in particular the rhino. (Black Rhino and White Rhino)
My link to nature began at the get go for me. Though Born in Johannesburg, I spent the majority of my years growing up in Durban and my parents are both avid bush lovers.
This love over time has transpired into the passion I have for conservation and wildlife today.
I started a conservation committee at Crawford College La Lucia, in South Africa. This committee worked to maintain and improve the conservation area in which my school was placed. We planted trees, were involved in community clean-ups and raised awareness.
During this time, I soaked up all the information I could on environmental issues and its workings. When I graduated I was definitely aware of the dire situation our environment is in.
When I began my career at Loyola University of Chicago in August 2010, I immediately sought out the Student Environmental Alliance, of which I am now Co-vice president.
Among other issues we’ve worked on getting the student body actively aware and involved in issues surrounding wildlife crimes.
I grew up admiring these animals, among the other unique South African wildlife.
My family also has close ties to Ian Player and Nick Steele’s actions in rejuvenating rhino populations in Hluhluwe-mfolozi Park in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, making these issues very close to home for me.
I have a desire to conserve wildlife and create harmony between the environment and the people within it.
I feel there is no room for compromise on important and dire environmental issues, and I feel rational education and storytelling can build a strong response to these atrocities to end.
For this reason I one day hope to put my advertising and public relations skills, along with my passion and knowledge on environmental action and leadership, to work in environmental branding and communications.
My ultimate goal is to one day work in public relations for the conservation organizations. I believe that actions speak louder that words and I cannot wait to start making a difference.
I feel Nikela does just that. The internet and social networks have revolutionized world communications, and thus allowed for a global recognition of issues such as this.
Nikela’s variety of projects and involvement in telling the right stories, by educated people lays the foundation for change. I really enjoy contributing to that.
Thanks Jess, you’re awesome! Thanks for your ongoing help as a Nikela Volunteer and your contribution to saving Africa’s last rhino.