ACA Student Saves Endangered Wildlife

By Rylie Young

The Charter Features – 12/12/18

Milarae Rymsza, a sixth grade ACA student, is just twelve and has already raised hundreds of dollars for wildlife.

Milarae loves to paint, and she loves animals. She is a soft spoken person, but her actions speak louder than words. For the past six years she has combined these passions by painting pictures and selling them, giving the funds to organizations like World Wildlife Fund, which Milarae says helps protect wildlife.

“I would describe her as creative, passionate, big heart,” says Milarae’s mom, Nicole. Milarae describes herself in two words, “an artist.”

Nicole says Milarae’s passion to save animal started several years ago, and that they watch the nature channel often in their house. “There were a lot of upsetting things that we saw, that she felt propelled to do something about,” said Nicole.

One of her first projects was for a parade that was going through her neighborhood. She made a booth where she handed out penguin pamphlets and life size cardboard penguins. She collected donations and gave them to the Southern Ocean Coalition, an organization that works on a wide range of Antarctic environment issues.

To further her painting and art skills, Milarae’s parents have been paying for her to attend Portland Child Art Studio for six years.

Nicole says, “she was always into art, from a very young age she was doing art all the time. We found a studio for her to be nurtured in that way and she’s taken that a long way. And I’ve always kind of seen her as an activist as well, she’s very passionate about the things she believes in and we’ve always let her know that those beliefs are important and that she should go after what she wants to do, and they’re all her ideas, we just do what we can to help that move along.”

Milarae is constantly helping animals, she allegedly has a summer ritual for fundraising. She says, “usually every summer, me and my brother and our friend, we woul-well I would make bookmarks and they would just help sell them, and then we would donate the money. So, we would just stand on the curb with our little table pretty much all summer.” Milarae suggests to kids her age who want to protect wildlife to find something they love to do and turn into something that you can do to help.

The young artist’s paintings sell for about $20-35 each, and are currently being displayed in art shows around Portland. “It’s all paintings and I have different shows at different coffee shops and restaurants, right now I have one at Griddle, a restaurant off Foster,” says Milarae. This is her third art show, and she has a few more next year, all the money raised is for the World Wildlife Foundation.

Carla Calhoun, Milarae’s ES says, “She is creative and passionate about animals and making a difference in the world!  Using her artistic talents to bring attention to the needs of animals from around the world is going to be her lifelong mission in life.”


Calhoun, Carla. Email Interview. December 5th, 2018.

Rymsza, Milarae. Personal Interview. December 3rd, 2018.

Rymsza, Nicole. Personal Interview. December 3rd, 2018.