Helping Youth Participate and Excel
Twice a month, Devereux Outpatient Clients head to the zoo to volunteer. For five hours, the teens work hard and enjoy every minute of it! A day’s worth of volunteering might include such things as stacking shavings into the barns, pulling potentially toxic plants out of animal habitats, painting animal food boxes, cleaning animal habitats, clearing rocks from the horses play area to prevent injury to their hooves, packing dirt, or clearing out a dam that was damaging the sugar cane.
Besides the satisfaction that comes with a day of physical work, the teens learn to take directives and follow a schedule. Zoo staff works with the teens and explains the importance of properly representing the Phoenix Zoo and the expectation that everyone who works or volunteers at the zoo must be respectful of both the animals and the visitors.
The kids love learning about the animals as well as taking a break from their everyday home life, which can sometimes be challenging and stressful. Zoo staff enjoys having the teens participate and have offered a few of the older kids work positions after they turn 18.
Devereux clients are definitely reaping the benefits of all the HYPE at the Zoo. Thanks to Madeline Mistral and all of the staff at our Devereux AZ Outpatient program for coordinating client participation and volunteering their time and expertise to help our kids develop hands-on skills and work experience!