When I Was 8 Years Old, I Decided To Help Endangered Animals With My Art; Five Years Later, I Have Created Over 300 Animal Paintings
My name is Bria Neff and I want kids all over the world to know that we are the generation that will change the world.
When I was eight years old, I entered an art contest hosted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and I won! I was so excited, but I didn't even know what 'endangered animals' meant. That night, I asked my mom about it and we found out there were over 6000 endangered species! I felt sad, angry, and helpless. I told my mom we were going to help these wild animals. When she asked me, 'How?' I said I would paint them and donate the money to help protect and save them. I don't think she believed me because she said once I painted 10, she'd make a Facebook page for me. I had 10 animal paintings done in 5 days and the rest is kind of history. My Facebook page is a platform where I share facts, publish new animal drawings, and spread awareness.
Facebook came out to my house and created my story in their Community Voices and then UpWorthy shared it, which helped me share my story! My 1st goal was to donate $500 and with my last beautiful painting selling at the wolf conservation center live auction for $25,000 this summer, I have officially donated $69,000! So now my goal is $100,000! It is a dream come true that it is even a possibility!
At the age of 13, I have now created more than three hundred unique paintings of endangered animal species and some just for fun. I use my website to sell them, I also donate them, and auction them off to raise funds to support the extraordinary organizations I work with like IFAW, The Wolf Conservation Center in New York, Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots, and REST. I did a lot of research to choose those organizations because I want to make sure the money I donate protects wildlife and preserves natural habitats. Those amazing organizations have helped those dreams come true.
I am a member of a great network of talented artists from all over the world #wildoceans11! By using #artivism to take a stand and make a positive impact on endangered species and climate awareness, artists all over the planet are changing the world. I also use my platform on Instagram as a 'Justice Girls With Heart' ambassador to inspire other kids like me to stand up and speak out for the environment, themselves and each other.
We all have an important and powerful role to play and if we work together, we will change the world. So be original, stand out and speak up and let your positivity and creativity shine through. It isn't always easy or popular but being true to yourself is the bravest thing you can do.
Follow my journey and help me reach my goal!