by Kristi Rodriguez, Volunteer Coordinator, Humane Pennsylvania
I recently attended the 3rd Annual Technical College High School Career and Job Training Fair in Downingtown and met with students interested in a career in Animal Services.
The students participating in the career fair were seeking to further their education and obtain jobs as veterinarians or veterinary technicians. As an attendee of the career fair, I interviewed about 20 students in the program and spoke with them about the field of animal welfare. Many of the students were interested in the difference between working in a shelter environment versus a private veterinary practice.
I was pleasantly surprised that so many of the students had already decided what they wanted to do with their futures but also encouraged them to keep their options open. We discussed the benefits of volunteering at their local animal shelter as a means of gaining practical experience in the field prior to going off to college, as well as increasing their understanding of the specific area of animal services.
One particular student stood out among the others. He was a high school senior and had already been accepted into the Biology program at a school in Rhode Island. He came prepared for the interview, dressed in a suit and offered a strong hand shake. His confidence in himself showed, and he had a very personable demeanor. He spoke with passion about wanting to help animals and make a difference in the animal welfare world. We talked about the current issues many shelters face and how students like him can get involved at their local shelter. After discussing his future plans and current interests in the animal welfare field, we parted ways as he moved on to the next table and interview.
It was refreshing to meet a young person who already has such drive about their future plans and such a desire to help shelter animals.
Our shelters in Lancaster and Berks Counties are often assisted by students from local colleges and high schools in need of completing community service hours or who are missing their personal pets while they are away from home.
We are always eager to connect community members with meaningful volunteer opportunities within our organization. We welcome you to visit our website, HumanePA.org/Volunteers to learn more about ways you can get involved and make a meaningful impact on the lives of the animals in our shelters.