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Jane Goodall: Friend and Fellow Whale Lover

April 10, 2017|Posted in: Uncategorized

Julia Hook is a Freshman from West Hartford, Connecticut double majoring in Public Relations and Strategic Communications and CLEG (Communications, Law, Economics, and Government). In this post, Julia Talks about hearing one of her personal heroes, Jane Goodall, speak at American’s School of International Service. 


March 28, 2017. I saw the Jane Goodall   

My whole life I have been in love with animals. As a child, I would constantly be watching Animal Planet or The Discovery Channel. I had piles of books about Oceanography, The Amazon, The Great Mojave Desert, all of it. I had it all. The way animals and nature function fascinated me as a child, and it still does to this day. Anyone who knows me is aware of my love for animals. One of the first questions I ask people is: What’s your favorite animal? So this being said when SIS first announced Jane Goodall was coming to American University, I knew I had to go.

Jane Goodall, what a lady. She has recently turned 83 years old. She travels 300 out of 360 days of the year. And she has been to 63 different countries. There is no stopping this woman. During the talk, she spoke about her experiences in life, not only working with animals, but being a woman in the workforce. She told stories about overcoming obstacles and being true to herself no matter what. She spoke about her foundation,  The Jane Goodall foundation, and ways we can all get involved with helping the environment. After listening to her stories and her advice I walked out that night with hope and inspiration.

Jane Goodall gave me hope for the world. Seeing a woman break gender barriers and be in the workforce, made me confident I could do anything. She began working with animals in the 1960s, during a time where women were supposed to be at home. Instead of sticking to the norms of society she went for what she wanted and achieved it. Seeing someone who has worked so hard and is so passionate inspires me. She inspires me to do pursue things I love. She inspires me to make an impact. One thing she said about helping the environment, will stay with me. The way we can help animals and the environment, is by first helping people. Improving the lives of humans will carry out into helping nature and the world. Everything is connected.

Along with hope and inspiration, Goodall made me appreciate everyone in my life. Constantly throughout the talk Goodall mentioned “her rock,” her mom. No matter what, her mom encouraged and supported her in everything she did even if it seemed crazy. Her mom was the pushing force behind everything she accomplished. Listening to the love and appreciation Goodall expressed while talking about her mom made me look at the people in my life. It made me appreciate my parents and my two best friends who encourage me to pursue things I love. Although I am not going to Kenya any time soon like Goodall, my family and friends help me through my college journey. They push me even when I feel like quitting. Goodall made me reflect and appreciate everyone in my life.

Being able to hear the stories of a living legend and meet her was a once in a lifetime experience. This talk inspired me to pursue what I love: nature. And find ways to help my community and the environment. It encouraged me not to give up. It gave me hope in humanity. Jane Goodall has spent more than 50 years helping and seeing the good in the world. Seeing someone who has changed the lives of people and animals allowed me to see the good in people again.

Although the talk was only 2 hours or so, it will be something that will stay with me for a lifetime. The selfie of Jane and I will forever be my screensaver. Most of all, I will never forget Jane’s favorite ocean animal is the whale, just like me.




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