“Inspiring change for a better tomorrow” is the motto for Zoo Corps, a program for teens between the ages of 13 and 17. The objective of Zoo Corps is to interact with Zoo guests, teaching them about various topics such as animal diets, wildlife conservation, animal enrichment, and/or endangered species. Zoo Corps members set up discovery stations throughout the Zoo and use artifacts, biofacts, literature, props, interactive games, and activities to help teach children and adults who are visiting the Zoo. Members volunteer at least once a month.
Zoo Corps members may participate in other Zoo education-related events such as Discovery Days, Sleepovers, promotional events, field trips, and/or community projects.
Zoo Corps is for teens who have an interest in conservation, education, or public speaking. Once selected for the program and upon successful completion of program training, members participate at least one day per month. Each session runs five months (January through May and August through December). A uniform is provided. A limited number of applicants are selected each session.
Interested applicants must attend a mandatory information meeting with a parent/guardian. If selected, applicants must be available for an interview and, if accepted, must be available to attend a mandatory one-day training in order to continue participation.
The information meeting is free and mandatory for any teen (accompanied by a parent/guardian) who is interested in applying or re-applying for Zoo Corps. Applications for the program are only distributed at the information meetings.
“This program means a lot to me because it has enabled me to be an awesome public speaker as well as become conscious about environmental issues. Zoo Corps has prepared me extremely well for the real world, especially as I have prepared for college. It brings together kids of varying ages and all walks of life. It has given me friends I never would have had otherwise. Thanks to Zoo Corps, I not only have the tools I need to reach others effectively, but I have been given the opportunity to inspire change, something that will be with me far past Zoo Corps.” —Zoo Corps member