Friday, March 28, 2008

Nava Khorram: Environmental Champion

At last nights Beautify CNMI! concert with Jake Shimabukuro, Nava received an "Environmental Champion" award for being the initiating force behind the restoration of the lighthouse. It was very cool for Nava. She was the first to be called up, and was recognized along with some other powerful forces of change on the island. We're proud of her. She's a force, and she's only nine (eight when she set this all in motion).

Here is the background about the award, taken from the Marianas Variety.
The winners of this year’s Beautify CNMI! Steward and Champion awards will be announced at the Saipan World Resort on March 27.

Beautify CNMI! volunteer Angelo Villagomez said the two recipients of the awards will be recognized for their contribution as exceptional environmental leaders during the last 12 months.
“Beautify CNMI! is celebrating its second anniversary and we will be giving out two award categories: the Environmental Steward and the Environmental Champion,” Villagomez said.

The Steward Award is given to an individual or an organization who has demonstrated real concern for the islands of the CNMI.

The Champion Award is given to a person or group who shows the true spirit of Beautify CNMI!

Among the criteria used for picking the winners are volunteerism, innovation, cooperation, creativity and the ability to spread the “beauty virus” all over the island.

Here are a few snippets from the Beautify CNMI! website about the Lighthouse and Nava, along with before and after photos.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 (From the Beautify CNMI! blog)

Volunteer of the Week

From the Brilliant Star School Newsletter:

Over the summer, Kinney and Nava Khorram learned how to collect water samples using tools from the Stream Team. This year, one of the elementary student’s service projects will be volunteering for that group. They will be monitoring and collecting samples from designated streams in Garapan and turning those water samples in for testing at the DEQ. They will also plant trees and collect trash around our adopted streams. The Stream Team is a new volunteer organization dedicated to monitoring and improving the quality of the water flowing off the land and into the ocean around Saipan.
We have been throwing around the idea to restore the Navy Hill Lighthouse for a few months now, but we always came up with an excuse to ignore it.

Recently Nava asked her Dad to ask us to take the lighthouse on as one of our projects. He relayed her request to me over the weekend. Nava helped me collect water samples over the summer, so how could I say no?

Nava Khorram is the Beautify CNMI! volunteer of the week. Thank you, Nava, for providing the spark to get this worthy project underway. It took a kid...sorry, young adult to get us to finally do something. Now you have to prove your Volunteer of the Week status by bringing all of your classmates to the restoration event this weekend!

For those of you not on the Beautify CNMI! mailing list, this weekend we will be cleaning up garbage, clearing weeds, and possibly painting over graffiti and planting trees in the area in and around the Navy Hill Lighthouse. We will meet at the lighthouse Sunday, December 3 at 10:00 AM. The only thing you need to bring is two friends. Beautify CNMI! will provide all the tools.

Saipan Tribune, Wednesday, November 30, 2006

Beautify CNMI! sets upcoming activities

Beautify CNMI! is set to begin work on its holiday activities:

- San Antonio Beach on Saturday at 8am. Volunteers are asked to use Aguas Street (road between the school and PIC). The cleanup will head north toward Chalan Piao. This event is the monthly DEQ cleanup brigade.

“Want to be famous? We will be filming our first Beautify CNMI! commercial at this event,” said Beautify CNMI!'s Angelo Villagomez.

- Garapan Tourist District on Sunday at 8am. Participants will meet in the parking lot of the American Memorial Park. This is Beautify CNMI's third cleanup of the tourist district. It is being led by volunteer group MOVER.

- Navy Hill Lighthouse on Sunday at 10am. “You asked for it, you got it. David & Mara Khorram’s daughter, Nava, asked us if we could clean this historical area up. How could I say no? We are going to pick up trash, remove some weeds, and if allowed, paint over some graffiti,” said Villagomez.

Sunday, September 09, 2007 (From the Beautify CNMI! blog)

Lighthouse Cleanup

We painted the lighthouse from about 7 AM until 4 PM. A huge thanks goes out to Ken Kramer, Marianas RC&D Coordinator. He helped me all week coordinate today's rather large event. He was also the first volunteer to show up and the last volunteer to go home today.

Thank you, Ken.

We managed to apply a layer of primer on most of the Lighthouse and got a layer of paint on about two rooms worth of walls. We're not finished. We have to go back in a week or two.

Here is the lighthouse before we really got started:

Saipan Navy Hill Lighthouse

...and here is the lighthouse at the end of the day:

We are about half way done. We're going to have to go back and add a little more primer and then paint over the whole thing with a final coat of paint. Here are a few more pictures:









The money for the paint was donated by the Marianas Visitors Authority. They donated $10,000 to Beautify CNMI! about a year ago, but it wasn't until this week that I was spurred to action.

There were two things that made me finally get off my butt and paint the lighthouse. The first one happened last Saturday when Dr. David Khorram's daughter, Nava, handed me an envelope full of dollar bills and coins totaling $49.02. She told me that she had collected the money at school to pay for paint for the lighthouse. I felt so guilty.

The second thing that made me decide that it was time to paint the lighthouse was one of the music videos from the Fiesta Pop Music Festival. The video was shot at the lighthouse and the whole structure was just covered in graffiti. It was time to do something about it.


Tamara said...

CONGRATULATIONS! What an awesome job your daughter has done!!!!

Marianas Eye said...

Thanks, Tami.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

She deserves it.

I was 24 before I started doing stuff like this. By the time she's 15 she'll be doing great things.

No pressure though.


The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

...and I look really skinny in those pictures. Where can I get a camera like that?

Marianas Eye said...

Thanks, Angelo. Yes. Of course. Really skinny.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Congratulations Nava! You have not only done a great service to your community, you have made your Dad very proud too. Nice work.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Nava. It is inspirational to us all. It's also amazing what one person can accomplish. We can all be agents of change if we want. Let's make Saipan a better place to live!


Marianas Eye said...

Thanks, Bruce. Thanks, Russ. Indeed ... the Power of One.