If you are looking to brighten your day, read the stories of Coronado’s Emerald Keepers of the Month. These are the stories of people who truly care about Coronado and our oceans. They go above and beyond for our town — quietly under the radar. Our final 2020 Emerald Keeper of the Month is one of these incredible unsung heroes.
Meet Brianna Heinken, 2020 graduate of Coronado High School (CHS) who has a penchant for service. A Navy Junior, Brianna moved to Coronado with her family when she was in fourth grade. Her long list of service is impressive. She was co-president of the CHS Interact Club. She was the founder and president of the CHS Unicef Club and was the secretary of the first CHS Emerald Keepers Club. Brianna also earned her Girl Scout Gold Award by designing a healthy lifestyles program incorporating tennis and nutrition at an orphanage in Tijuana for 50 children.
When Brianna learned about Emerald Keepers she was all in! She said, “It is important to create a more sustainable future. As we experience increasing amounts of harmful waste and pollution, Emerald Keepers provides crucial leadership to educate, implement projects, and advocate for the protection of our beach community and planet.”
“I am an Emerald Keeper because Emerald Keepers inspires me to continue learning and push myself to be the best global citizen that I can be,” said Heinken.
Brianna is the creator of Emerald Keepers’ Fact Friday found on Emerald Keepers’ social media platforms. She is always willing to write an article for Emerald Keepers to help educate her community.
A resident of the Naval Amphibious Base, Brianna noticed the large amounts of marine debris washed up on the beach behind her home. She immediately set to work to remove the trash. Brianna cleans the beach regularly. She understands the importance of removing the debris so the animals and shore birds that live in the bay and ocean do not ingest or become entangled.
Brianna said, “Coronado has been such a beautiful community to grow up in and helping preserve its beauty is the best way for me to give back to the community.”
Brianna is a freshman attending the University of Melbourne where she is working toward a Bachelors of Biomedicine with a major in Neurobiology. She will also receive a Diploma of Languages in Spanish. Like so many students around the world, her first semester was online. In January, Brianna will be moving to Australia to attend in-person classes. Even though she will be in the “Land Down Under,” Brianna plans to continue her work with Emerald Keepers. While the University of Melbourne may be almost 8,000 miles away, the University has taken notice of her work with Emerald Keepers in Coronado. Brianna is the recipient of the University’s Leaders in Communities Award for 2020.